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^^ EoBEET Burns, the greatest poet, save Sliakspeare, who has 
yet sprung from the humbler ranks of society, was born on 
the 25th of January 1759, in a cottiige, still shown to innu- 

V merable visitors, two miles south of Ayr, and a short distance 
gJT from Alloway Kirk, wliich the poet has immortalised in 
" Tam o' Shanter." Nine days after his birth, a violent 
storm overturned a part of the '' auld clay biggin" which had 
been erected by his father, and the infant bard, along with 
his mother, was conveyed through the tempest to a neigh- 
bouring cottage, — an incident in which some will see an 
omen, and otliers an emblem of the wild and stormy career 
which was before him. He was baptised by Dr William 
Dalrymple, of Ayr, a man he lived to venerate and praise. 
His father was William Burns or Burness, a native of Kin- 
cardineshire, in the north ; who, by family misfortunes, had 
been compelled to come southward in search of employment 
as a gardener, and who, after various vicissitudes, took a lease 
of seven acres of ground for a nursery, near tlie Bridge of 
Doon — built a clay cottage with his own hands, and brought 
home as his bride, Agnes Brown, the daughter of a Carrick 
farmer. He was a man of vigorous mind, considerable cul- 
ture, and, above all, of warm affections, and strong moral 
principle. From him the poet seems to have derived that 
keen sagacity so characteristic of the Norland men, and wliich 
formed one of the principal elements in his mind. From his 
mother, who was fond of singing old ballads, and recounting 


legendaiy tales, came perhaps the '' liair-Lrained sentimental 
trace," aiul the peculiarly poetic qualities, which distinguished 
him. His father, too, he resembled in the irritability, and 
almost savage independence of his temper. Before the poet's 
birth, William Burns had given up the charge of his nur- 
sery, and become gardener and overseer to ]\lr Fergusson 
of Doonholm, contiiming still to reside in his own cottage, 
where his wife kept two or three milk-cows. In his sixth 
year Robert was sent to a small school at Alloway Mill, 
about a mile from the cottage. This was taught by one 
Campbell, who soon, however, removed to a superior situation 
in Ayr, and William Burns united with some neighbours in 
employing a young man named John ]\Iurdoch as teacher to 
the children of several families. This person, who seems to 
have been a worthy, but somewhat weak man, taught Hobert 
and his younger brother Gilbert, English, and English gram- 
mar, and lent the former the " Life of Hannibal," the first book 
he ever read out of school. The poet seems, however, to have 
derived a greater impulse to the imaginative part of his mind 
from an old woman named Betty Davidson, who frequented 
the family, and who overflowed with tales and songs about 
ghosts, witches, fairies, and so forth ; this, according to Burns 
" cultivated the latent seeds of poetry." In 1766, his fiither 
left his cottage at Alloway, and took the small farm of Mount 
Oliphant, two miles distant. Robert and his brother con- 
tinued, however, to attend Murdoch's school, till, at the end 
of two years, he removed to Carrick. It is curious that Mur- 
doch preferred Gilbert to Robert, and thought, because the 
former was the merrier of the two, that he was more likely to 
liave turned out a poet ! Little did the worthy teacher know 
what a deep current of enthusiasm, and what dark stern cogi- 
tations were saddening the brow of the wondrous boy, who 
already knew that he " was born a poor man's son," and was 
already " noted for a stubborn sturdy something in his dispo- 
sition, and for an enthusiastic idiot-piety," and whose mirth, 
at all seasons of his life, was only the " silver lining" on the 
cloud of thickest melancholy ! 

.From the date of Murdoch's departure, William Burness 


undertook himself the charge of his cliildren's education, and 
whiled awaj the heavy labours of the farm by conversing 
familiarly with them on usefid subjects, using as his text- 
books Derham's '' Pliysico and Astro-Theology," and Eay's 
" Wisdom of God in the Creation," Eobert liimself was an in- 
satiable devourer of books ; he procured the " Life of Wallace" 
from a blacksmith, and read it with the greatest avidity, and 
with important results, — for it "poured a Scottish prejudice 
into his veins, wliich boiled along there till the flood-gates of 
life shut in eternal rest;" — he also made himself acquainted 
with Stackhouse's " History of the Bible," and with a collection 
of letters by eminent writers, which became his standard and 
model for epistolary composition. WHieu about thirteen or 
fourteen years of age, he and Gilbert Avere sent to the parish 
school of Dalrymple, for a summer quarter, to improve their 
handwriting ; and about this time Robert got hold of some 
of Richardson's, Fielding's, Smollett's, Hume's, and Robert- 
son's works. Shortly after, his old master, Murdoch, was 
appointed English teaclier in Ayr, and resuming his acquain- 
tance with the Mount Oliphant family, he lent Robert, Pope's 
works, and took him, at his father's desire, to Ayr, to assist 
him in revising his grammar, and learning a little French. 
Burns was advised to begin Latin, too ; but proceeded only a 
very short w^ay in that study, although he resumed it occa- 
sionally afterwards. 

Meanwhile, the farm of Mount Oliphant had turned out a 
bad speculation ; and the family, although they wrought hard, 
fared very poorly. Both the sons, as well as the father and 
the rest o£ the household, were often plunged into the deepest 
distress by their circumstances ; and to this Gilbert attributes, 
and, so far, justly, the depression of spirits which often after- 
wards beclouded Robert's bright mind. After occupying this 
ungrateful farm for fourteen years, William Burness threw it 
up, and took that of Lochlea, parish of Tarbolton, in 1777, 
where he found only a change of difficulties, and where he was 
only saved from ruin by death. 

In his seventeenth year, Burns fell for the first time in love. 
It was with liis harvest partner, Nelly Ivilpalrick, daughter of 


the blacksmith who had lent him the " Life of Wallace," whom 
he describes as a " bomiie, sweet, sonsy lass," and on whom 
he wrote his first copy of verses, sufficiently puerile indeed, 
entitled, " Handsome Nell." Two years after, the ftimily being 
now rather more comfortably settled in Loehlca, lie went for a 
few months to the neighbourhood of Kirkoswald, in Carrick, to 
reside with his maternal uncle, Samuel Brown, a respectable 
fisher and wool-dealer; and to study mensuration and geo- 
metry at the village school, under one Hugh Rodger. Here 
he became acquainted with some primitive characters, particu- 
larly Douglas Graliam, a farmer at Shanter, and the prototype 
of the immortal Tarn. Here he " learned to fill his glass, and 
to mix without fear in a drunken squabble," And here the 
sight, from a garden behind the school, of Peggy Thomson, a 
'- charming fillette," gathering, it is surmised, " a cabbage" ! 
for the family dinner, kindled his susceptible heart into a fierce 
but transient flame, and " fairly overset his trigonometry." 
He returned " considerably improved" to Lochlea, resumed the 
labours of the farm, and spent some years on the whole happily, 
corresponding with friends, writing occasional pieces of poetry, 
such as " Poor Mailie" and " John Barleycorn," carrying on di- 
vers courtships, all as yet innocent, reading " Tristram Shandy" 
and the " Man of Feeling;" and sometimes in the peat-moss or 
on his way to the " coals in the morning," keeping his brother 
and the rustics around in roars of laughter by his arch and 
witty conversation, which, according to Gilbert, was then as 
rich and far more natural and innocent than in the days of his 
celebrity. It was altogether a remarkable family that of 
Lochlea. All of them were fond of literature; and when a 
stranger entered their humble dwelling at meal-time, he found 
the fother, two brothers, and three sisters, Agnes, Annabella, 
and Isabella, with a spoon in one hand and a book in the 
other. Tlie daughters, too, like their mother, were fond of 
reciting legendary poetry and song — meet atmosphere this 
altogether for rearing a great peasant-ppet ! 

In 1780 he established a debating club in Tarbolton. He 
had previously acquired considerable controversial renown, in 
arguing on Sundays with the " yill-caup commentators" of the 


country side on theological subjects, when he used to " puzzle 
Calvinism with much heat and Indiscretion." In the club he 
maintained the same position and tlie same principles. Here 
he became acquainted with David Sillar, a youth of some 
talent, to whom he afterv/ards addressed his very lively epistles 
to " Davie." About the same time he fell In love with a 
girl, Ellison Begbie, a servant, from Galston, and seriously 
thought of marrying her. She Is said to have been much su- 
perior to her station, in mind and manners. She declined 
the honour of the poet's hand. He continued to speak, how- 
ever, of her to the last with regard. In midsummer 1781 he 
repaired to Irvine to learn the trade of a flaxdresser, wishing 
to make It subservient to a scheme for raising flax on his 
father's land. In Irvine he formed some acquaintances re- 
markable for free-living and free-thinking, and the consequence 
Avas, a considerable deterioration both In his thought and 
conduct ; so at least Gilbert Burns asserts, although Blchard 
Brown, a young sailor, whom Robert met In Irvine, and whom 
he accuses of teaching him licentious habits, used to assert that 
Burns, when he first knew him, had on that point nothing to 
learn. Irvine, at all events, did him no good ; his aberrations 
were followed by remorse and wretchedness, and he ever 
afterwards looked back to his sojourn there with horror. On 
the 1st of January 1782, while welcoming In the New Year 
with the usual revelry, his flax store took fire, and was 
burned to ashes. He remained In Irvine till March ; and 
then, penniless, chagrined, and corrupted, he returned to his 
father's house. 

Here he resumed his toils ; and, after a season, excited by the 
perusal of Fergusson's poems, new strung his lyre. He plunged, 
too, into a vortex of new love-agitations. On the 13th of Feb- 
ruary 1784 his father died, entirely worn out, and heart-broken 
besides by a litigation about the lease of his farm. On his 
deathbed he expressed his fears about one of his family not 
being In the right way. Robert eagerly asked — " Oh, father, 
is it me you mean?" The old man said it was. Robert 
turned his face to the window to hide his tears. Pie mourned 
for his father most sincerely, and erected afterwards a simple 


tomLstone over liis remains in Alloway kirkyard, wliicli few 
contemplate without deep and melting emotions. liow dif- 
ferent from those wliieh are awakened by the proud mausoleum 
at Dumfries! The father's death was a triumph after a 
tragedy — the son's was a tragedy after a triumph. There is 
a day coming in the history of mankind, when it shall he 
thought the highest honour belonging to Burns that he was 
the son of such a father. 

Foreseeing their father's death, and the ruin that was sure 
to follow, Robert and Gilbert had taken another fi\rm in the 
parish of Mauehline — Mossgiel, destined to become so famous 
in the history of the poet. Entered on this new sphere of 
exertion, he said — " Go to ; I will be wise ; " but it soon 
became evident that he had no aptitude for business, and 
was a better ploughman than manager of a farm. He was 
subject, too, to impetuous impulses, and was " driven about 
with every wind " of whim. He had become famous in the 
country side ; and his notoriety became a curse to him ; for it 
led him, although then habitually temperate, to attend Mason- 
lodges, and to mingle in every scene of rural dissipation 
Avithin his reach. About this time his health began to suffer 
— fainting-fits assailed him at night; and he had frequently 
to plunge into a barrel of Avater which stood at his bedside, 
to relieve the pressure on his heart. Shortly after, a servant- 
girl in the family bore him a child, and he had to submit to 
the usual discipline of the church. While he seems to have 
felt sincere remorse on account of this error, he could not resist 
seeing and showing it in ridiculous lights, as his " Address to 
his Illegitimate Child," and his " Letter to John Eankine " — 
a rough-living farmer in the neighbourhood — prove. Irri- 
tated by the severity of the clergyman who had rebuked him, 
and prompted by the spirit of contradiction and the love of 
fan^ he plunged eagerly into the controversy then raging be- 
tween the Highfliers and TModerates, or, as they were called, the 
Old and New Lights, and lent the aid of his powerful pen to 
the latter. The ministers of this party welcomed his " Twa 
Herds," " Holy Willie's Prayer," &c., with a " roar of ap- 
plause." His mind, altogether, during the years he resided at 


Mosso'lel, was in a state of constant and successful activity; 
then he produced his letters to Davie, to Lapraik, and Simp- 
son— liis " Death and Dr Hornbook " — his " Hallowe'en " — 
his " Address to the De'il " — and far and high above all, his 
" Cottars' Saturday Night." Some of these he repeated to his 
brother Gilbert, on their way for coals, or Avhile takhig the 
Avater off the field, or during their occasional Sabbath-day 
walks ; and his brother declares that he never was so much 
" electrified " as by the repetition of the " Cottars' Saturday 
Night." Poetry, indeed, at that time, poured from his mind; 
and the blank leaves of books, drinking-glasses, the windows 
of inns and houses, nay, bank-notes, bore marks of his teeming 
and exhaustless genius. Even while engaged in the hard 
labours of the plough, he was constantly " crooning to himsel' ;" 
and the simplest incident in the field, the turning up of a 
mouse's nest, or the uprooting of a daisy, 

" Flasli'd upon that inward eye 
Which, is the bhss of sohtude," 

and was transfigured into immortal song. Never was there 
more genuine, unforced, strong, yet sweet and gentle, inspira- 
tion than now, every morning, as certainly as the sun, liglited 
upon him 

" Who walked in glory and iu joy 
Behind his plough upon the mountain-side," 

Yes, joy, although it was a joy which, like gliitering armour 
about a wounded warrior, disguised many secret sorrows — 
remorse for some passages in the past, fierce loves and hatreds, 
and a dark and shuddering outlook to the future ; for from the 
ploughed mountain-side, as from a Pisgah, he saw the woes 
and conflicts which were before him, and said to his poor 
" fellow-mortal," the mouse — 

" Still art thou blest, compared wi' me ! 
The present only toucheth thee ; 
But och ! I backward cast my e'e 

On prospects drear ! 
And forward though I canna see, 

I guess and fear." 


Byron, Avlicn speaking of Harold's deliglit in the grandeurs of 
nature, says — 

'' Had he kept his spirit to that height, 
He had been happy — but this clay will sink 
The spark immortal." 

It was so pecidiarly with Burns. Could ho have remained 
always at the plough, and worn always the mantle of in- 
spiration which fell on him there, and enjoyed ever the 
lawful intoxication of natural scenery and solitary thought, 
he had been a being as happy as he was glorious. But 
night came, and found him weary and jaded in mind and 
body, thirsting for some new excitement, and eager to pass 
(O human nature ! O hideous anti-climax !) from an Elisha- 
like plough — to a penny-wedding ! There tlie lower part of 
his nature found intense gratification and unrestricted play. 
There the " blood of John Barleycorn " furnished him with 
a false and hollow semblance of the true inspiration he had 
met in the solitary field, or on " the side of a plantain, when 
the wind was how^ling among the trees, and raving over 
the plain." And there, through the misty light of the pre- 
siding punch-bowl, he saw the most ordinary specimens of 
female nature transformed into angels ; and fancied that, like 
divinities, they should be adored. 

It will doubtless be said, that thus he acquired materials for 
his matchless satirical and comic strains. But he did this at 
the expense of his own character and peace ; and, had he 
acted otherwise — if he would have written fewer songs and 
satires — we might have had more than one " Cottars' Saturday 
Night," and many poems like the " Vision of Liberty," or 
" Man was Made to Mourn." We are not saying this in any 
censorious spirit ; we are speaking in sorrow, not in anger. 
Nay, we are persuaded that not one in a million — if placed in 
Burns' circumstances, and possessing Burns' temperament — 
would have acted otherwise. Still, it is " a lamentation, and 
it shall be a lamentation " for ever, that he was not as morally 
strong as he was intellectually gifted. 

Mossgiel turned out, like Mount Oliphant, a losing con- 


cern ; and two bad crops did not tend to improve Burns' 
spirits. The farm, however, lay near Mauchline ; and in that 
village he met with some associates for his leism'e hours, and 
with some subjects for his Muse. In it lived Smith, Rich- 
mond, and Gavin Hamilton — all cronies and correspondents of 
the poet. There stood the hostelry of " Auld Nanse Tinnoch," 
which he sometimes frequented. There — a perfect cage of 
oddities — was "Poosie Nancy's," waiting for the immortalisa- 
tion of the '' Jolly Beggars," in which the lowest blackguard- 
ism is burnished up into poetry. There, was a debating- 
society established by Burns, on the plan of the Tarbolton 
one. There, were besides mason-lodges ad libitum. And in 
Mauchline he met with Jean Armour, destined to play so im- 
portant a part in his history. 

It is difficult to make modern readers comprehend Jean's 
character ; how a female, who acted so strangely in her 
unwedded life, should have become such an affectionate 
wife, tender mother, and reputable member of society, in- 
telligible as it is to all acquainted with the Scottish rural 
character, as it was one hundred, or even twenty years 
ago. Without attempting any explanation, we shall simply 
state the well-known facts. About the year 1785, Burns 
met with Jean Armour, daughter of a respectable mason in 
Mauchline, at one of the penny balls common after races and 
fairs. lie soon became intimate with her ; and the next year 
it became manifest that they had loved " not wisely, but too 
well." At first, Burns determined not to acknowledge her as 
his wife ; but an interview melted down his resolution, and he 
gave her a written acknowledgment of marriage. This Jean 
expected her father to sanction, as equivalent to a legal mar- 
riage; but, aware of Burns' embarrassed circumstances, and 
having no good opinion of his character, he refused to ratify 
the connexion, and prevailed on Jean to give up the paper, 
wliich he placed in the hands of Aiken, a writer in Ayr — an 
intimate friend of tlie poet. In vain did Burns remonstrate — 
storm — weep — offer to go to Jamaica, or to become a day- 
labourer — anytliing for her support. Jean became as inexor- 
able as her father, and the uidiappy bard was driven almost 


frantic. ITe ran into dissipation of every kind. He wrote 
" Odes to Ruin," " Laments/' &c., in order to drown her 
memory ; but in vain. At last, he resolved to go to the West 
Indies ; and, to procure money for his passage, formed (at the 
suggestion of Gavin Hamilton, and in conformity with an 
old wish of his own) the resolution to publish a collection of 
his poems. Subscription-sheets were accordingly thrown off, 
and tlie announcement created a buzzing sensation through 
Kyle, Carrick, and Cunningham, if not also through Renfrew- 
shire and Lanarkshire ; for all had begun to hear of the fact, 
that there was a great poet rising among them. 

" At times a warning trumpet blown, 
At times a stifled hum, 
Told ' Scotland,' from his mountain throne, 
' Her KING did I'ushing come.' " 

Meanwhile, this sovereign mind was on the brink of destruc- 
tion, and unutterably wretched. He had involved himself 
not only with Jean Armour, but with that " Highland Mary " 
whose memory was destined to live in tlie two sweetest and 
most impassioned melodies ever written by man. She was 
born in Dunoon, on the Frith of Clyde, and had come to be 
dairy-maid at Coilsfield, where Burns made her acquaintance. 
It was resumed in the spring of 1786 ; and on the second 
Sunday, and 14th day of May in that year, the lovers met on 
the banks of the Ayr, and pledged their eternal troth by ex- 
changing Bibles. One is reminded of the scene similar in 
pathos, beauty, and sad termination, between Edgar Ravens- 
wood and Lucy Ashton, at the Mermaiden's Well. Mary 
returned to the Highlands, and spent the summer with her 
parents. She crossed the Clyde to Greenock in the end of the 
year, to see some relatives, and to have a final interview with 
Burns ere he went to the West Indies ; but, at the house of 
her relative, Peter M'Pherson, caught a fever which carried 
her off. She now lies in the West Churchyard, Greenock, 
with a tall elegant monument erected over her ashes. Llappy, 
may we not say she, thus early to have departed to " tlie land 
of the leal ! " With Burns she probably would not have 


been happy ; and have not his immortal songs reared such a 
mausoleum over her dust, 

" That kings for sucTi a tomb might wish to die 1 " 

To return to the poet. He had, in addition to his mortifi- 
cations, to appear again several successive Sabbaths before the 
church as an offender against the rules of chastity, and was called 
upon to give security for the maintenance of Jean's expected 
offspring. This he was unable to do, and was forced to skulk 
(in a fiirm-house in Old Rome forest, near Kilmarnock) in 
consequence, lest he should be imprisoned. His night was 
now at the very darkest, when there arose in the July sky of 
1786 the first streak of his undying fame. His volume was 
published by John Wilson, Kilmarnock, and went immediately 
to the heart of that country side. Old and young read it with 
unmingled delight. Plough-boys and maid-servants gladly 
gave their " sair-won penny fee" to get possession of the poems 
of Burns. Many wept blessed tears over the " Cottars' Saturday 
Night ; " Mrs Dunlop of Dunlop among the number, who found 
it a.solace to her wounded spirit, and became the warm and fast 
friend of the author. ]\Iany lauglied day and night at ^' Death 
and Dr Hornbook." All were enchanted with the nature, the 
ease, the power, and the vraisemblance of the pictures of Scot- 
tish life, scenery, and manners. The inliabitants of Mossgiel 
alone no copy of tlieir friend's immortalities reached, althougli 
there, too, the echo of his fame was heard witli surprise, pride, 
and pleasure. The edition of 600 speedily disappeared ,* another 
of 1000 was projected, and Bm-ns became, for the first time 
in his life, master of twenty pounds ! The success of a first 
work is felt by all authors to be exhilarating. But never, 
perhaps, in the history of literature was there such a sudden 
bound as in the case of Burns from misery, contemj)t, poverty, 
and semi-madness, to renown, popularity, and the prospect of 
competence. Were, not a reprieve, but a royal crown, given to 
a criminal on tlie gallows, it would be only a type of the sud- 
denness of the transition, and the greatness of the triumph. 

Jamaica, however, was still in his eye. He had engaged 
as book-keeper with Charles Douglas, of Port Antonio, at 


thirty pounds a-year. As soon as he was able to muster nine 
guineas, he had taken a steerage passage to the West Indies ; 
liad written his last song, " The Gloomy Night is Gathering- 
Fast ;" and his chest was on the way to Greenock Avhen a 
Avann-hcarted letter from kind old Blacklock, the blind poet, 
to the liev. George Laurie, of Loudon, who had forwarded 
him Burns' poems, completely altered his views, and ])ointed 
his ambition toward Edinburgh. A day or two before tliis, 
Jean bore him twins, and furnished him with another reason 
for staying at home; his relatives took charge of one of these, 
while Jean's friends engaged to support the other. The poet 
remained, even after Blaeklock's letter, two months in Ayr- 
shire, working in the harvest-field ; writing additional poems, 
such as the " Briggs of Ayr ;" dining with Dugald Stewart at 
Catrine ; meeting there, for the first time in his life,a live-lord 
at table, Lord Daer, and rejoicing over a flattering critique 
in the Edinburgh Magazine for November on his new-fledged 

At last, on the 27th or 28th of November 1786, Burns set 
out on his memorable journey to Edinburgh. Some say he 
walked all the way on foot, with his staft' in his hand, and 
muttering to himself the old ditty — 

" As I came o'er by Glenap 
I met an aged woman, 
Wha bade me keep up my lieart, 

For the best of my days were coming." 

]\Ir R. Chambers, however, was informed by the excellent 
Mr A. Prentice, of Manchester, that Burns rode to Edinburgh 
on a borrowed pony, and paused on his way for a night at 
Covington ]\Iains, near Carnwath, where Mr Prentice's father 
then resided. He had been previously acquainted with Burns; 
and, being aware of his approach, had circulated the tidings 
all round the country, and invited the neighbouring farmers 
to meet him. They were to be apprised of his arrival by a 
white sheet hoisted, as a signal, on one of the stacks in 
the farm-yard of the Mains. (A gentleman from Carnwath 
has kindly sent us a different version of the story. He says. 


the flag was hoisted on a centrical hill in that neighbourhood). 
So soon as the signal was observed, dozens of farmers were 
seen flocking from all directions to the Mains, where a night 
of unrivalled jollity and mirth welcomed the bard. We have 
some suspicion, however, that this incident took place later in 
Burns' history, when his fame was established. 

At all events, in Edinburgh, on the 28th of November, 
Burns arrived. He had not a single letter of introduction, 
very little money, and only two acquaintances — Professor 
Stewart, and John Richmond, a liumble writer's clerk from the 
west country, whom Burns had known in Mauchline, and with 
whom he lodged for some time. That he felt rather depressed, 
we doubt not ; but must not the sight of " stately Edinborough, 
throned on crags," with all its memories and associations, have 
stirred his blood and roused his ambition ? For some days he 
stalked through the streets unnoticed and unknown ; climbed 
Arthur's Seat — sat on the half-moon battery, and looked 
wistfully to the west — glared at " Rob Roy's country," with 
all its frowning hills, as seen from the Castle — went to Fer- 
gusson's grave, and knelt and kissed the sod — took off his hat 
when entering the shop of Allan Ramsay — looked at every 
body, and was stared at in return, as a clumsy bumpkin, with 
marvellously bright eyes. This continued for a week or two, 
till, through Mr Dairy mple of Orangefield, a gentleman he 
had known in Ayrshire, he was introduced to the amiable 
Lord Glencairn, and through him to William Creech, the 
publisher. He was introduced afterwards by Blacklock to Blair 
— by Stewart to Mackenzie and others ; and then the folding- 
doors of Edinburgh society flew open before him, and his 
fortune seemed made. Mackenzie wrote a generous critique 
on the Kilmarnock edition, in the Lounger^ December 9th. 
The Caledonian Hunt, at the instance of Glencairn, extended 
him its patronage. At the table of Lord Monboddo he met 
with all the distinguished literary men of the city, as well as 
with the " divine Eliza Burnet," daughter of the host, and 
other ladies of rank and fashion. His conduct and conversa- 
tion at this time were generally admired j his manner was 



modest, yet tlioronglily self-possessed ; his conversation rich 
"but well-regulated; and whatever he might think in his heart, 
he seemed always rather to be borrowing light from, than re- 
flecting it on, the kiminaries aromid him. This was the more 
edifying, as, in reality, he possessed as much talent as any ten 
of these literateurs, and more genius than all of them put to- 
gether. Dr Johnson, thirteen years before, had, by his single 
presence, frightened and fluttered these " Volscians" in their 
own " Corioli ;" and Burns could have done the same, were it 
not that he felt as if the plough was still in his hands, and 
that the degrading j)at of the patroniser was on his shoulders. 
And we doubt not that a sense of relief from restraint, along 
with the pride of conscious, but curbed, superiority, mingled 
in his feelings as he returned from these splendid suppers to 
his humble bed with John Richmond, in the Lawnmarket. 
By and by he contrived to surround himself with very dif- 
ferent circles, where his powers, and liis passions, too, were 
allowed to luxuriate at their own wild will. 

In April 1787 appeared the second edition of his poems, 
prefaced by a dedication to the Caledonian Hunt, and followed 
by a list of subscribers, amounting to 1500, and engaging for 
2800 copies. This volume (it was, we may be permitted to 
say, the first copy of Burns we ever read) is a large octavo, 
and is, for the age, beautifully got up and printed. It was 
received with enthusiasm ; and a man of more moderate ex- 
pectations than our poet might have been satisfied. But he 
had accurately measured both his patrons and himself; he 
forgot only to measure the age which had established a great 
gulf between them. 

Secure now, however, of sufficient funds for a considerable 
time to come, wearied of Edinburgh eclat and its inevitable 
drawbacks, and panting for new scenes, he left the metropolis 
for tlie south of Scotland, where he saw Coldstream, Hawick, 
Kelso, Selkirk, Dunbar, Newcastle, and Carlisle — did many 
foolish things, and returned crying out bitterly, " All is vanity 
and vexation of spirit." In June of the same year, he re- 
turned to his native shire ; was received by his mother with 


the lialf-wondering, half-warning words "0 Robert!" — lent 
his brother L.200, and resumed his intimacy with Jean 
Armour. In August we find him again in Edinburgh, pro- 
jecting a journey to the Highlands along with William Nicol, 
a teacher in the High School, and whom, although he passed 
with most other people for a vulgar, noisy, intolerable pedant. 
Burns thought a clever fellow and a suitable companion. The 
ill-matched pair went through Linlithgow and Falkirk to Stir- 
ling, where Burns gave great offence by a coarse and witless 
epigram (inscribed on an inn window) against the House of 
Hanover, which might have been written by his companion 
• — and thence to Harvieston, where Burns fell in love with 
Charlotte Hamilton, sister of his friend, Gavin, of Mauchline 
— a love which haunted him to the close of his life, as his 
very last song proves. From Harvieston they proceeded to 
Kenmore, Aberfeldy, and Blair in Athole, where the Duke 
showed him no small kindness, and where Josiah Walker took 
him up the beautiful banks of the Tilt by moonlight — and 
thence to Inverness, Culloden Moor, and to Gordon Castle, 
where the impatience of his companion, Nicol, hurried him 
away from a delightful evening with the family — and thence 
to Aberdeen, Stonehaven, and Montrose. When the twain 
were retm'ning from this tour, we have been told, the late 
Provost Burnes, of Montrose, and his father, relatives of 
the poet, went to meet him at Marykirk, when Robert 
Bm-ns said to them, " I have been at our paternal farm in 
the Mearns, and showed our old cousin some little things I 
had written by the way, which I mean to publish, but the 
farmer streekit himself up, struck his stick on the floor, and 
said, ^ Fie, fie, man, are ye gaen to affront your respectable 
friends by printing sic godless nonsense — na, na ; gie me them, 
and I'll put them in the fire.' " To this, it is said, the poet 
often alluded while in Montrose, and never altogether forgave 
his old relative. From Montrose he proceeded to Perth, and 
thence up the river Earn, to Invermay, Crieff, the charming 
village of Comrie, and the white castle of Abruchill, where, 
repelled by a cold reception from the inmates, in spite of tlie 
attraction of the dark magnificent mountains which tower 


above, lie turned liis horse's hccad, and left Stratliearn for ever 
behind him. lie had seen in this excursion many of the most 
beautiful scenes, and some of the most beautiful women, 
in Scotland; but Upper Stratliearn may well be proud, 
that the scenes, and the lady that alone extracted genuine 
inspiration from him during all his route, were Loch-Turit, 
and young Phemy Murray of Lintrose, then residing at 
Oehtcrtyre. His " Lines on scaring wildfowl in Loch-Turit," 
and " Blythe, blytlie, and merry was she," are beautiful 
— his lines on "Foyers" and "Taymouth" are laboriously 

Arrived again in Edinburgh, he found new trials awaiting 
him. Creech was slow to settle his accounts ; and he became 
acquainted with Clarinda. Her story is too well known to 
require to be repeated. The whole particulars of it have pro- 
bably never been told, but from what is divulged we, at least, 
have gathered an impression of considerable contempt for both 
parties in the matter. In neither do we see any evidence of 
real love, or even of that infatuation which often mimics the 
effects of true passion. From beginning to end it was a case 
of vanity, dashed in one, and perhaps in both of them, by an 
admixture of a lower feeling still. The letters which passed 
between them are about the silliest and most ridiculous which 
two intelligent persons, who were at the same time thoroughly 
smie, ever addressed to one another ; and their perpetuation 
and popularity disgrace the age. 

Burns, by this time, had found out that the nobility and 
gentry of a land will not long continue to help a man who 
does not help himself. Spurned from the doors of some of 
them where he had once been received with a warm welcome, 
and knowing too well that although, perhaps, misinformed as 
to particular facts, they were right in their general impression 
of his recent character and conduct, he determined, partly in 
pride and partly in remorse, to return to a sphere of manly 
industry. He became an exciseman and farmer; and we 
agree with Chambers and some others in thinking that at 
that time he could not have done any thing else, unworthy 
as the position was. Literature, and especially poetry, would 


then have starved hira had he pursued it as a profession. To 
Leg he was ashamed — of pandering to patrons he had got 
enough — but he could dig, and — 

" Even the rumour ran that hie could gaiige^^ 

And therefore, after marrying his Jean, who had again fallen, 
through her love to him, and been turned out of her father's 
house to the naked elements, he settled down at Ellisland, 
near Dumfries, in a poor farm with a salary of fifty pounds 
per annum as an exciseman, with a disappointed heart, a 
wounded spirit, and a determination, as sure to fluctuate as an 
eddy in the adjacent stream, to become a wise, an honest, an 
industrious, and a virtuous man. If he only succeeded in at- 
taining the second of these desirable characteristics — still was 
not that a quality far from common? — had he not often repeated 
with enthusiasm the words of Pope — • 

" An honest man 's the noblest work of God ?" 

and was it not something, taking his whole past career and 
his terrible passions into account, that he did not drown himself 
in the Nith, instead of setting himself quietly to cultivate its 
banks ? From the society of Stewart, E-obertson, and Plenry 
Mackenzie to that of Dumfriesshire ploughmen, and from that 
of Eliza Burnett and Charlotte Hamilton to that of Jean 
Armour and her compeers — what a downfall ! — felt the 
more because it came greatly by his own fault, and because 
it was irremediable. The courage and the firmness which 
could bear it were surely those of a giant — of one who 
looked above the judgments of mankind, on toward the 
awards of future ages — looked so habitually, although, alas ! 
not always. 

Yet, for a while, life at Ellisland flowed on rather plea- 
santly with the poet. He had now, for the first time, a 
house and farm of his own ; his wife came, after some delay, 
from Ayrshire to be the active mistress of his establishment ; 
his children were now around him to " fill his home with 
smiles." The scenery of the farm was beautiful. There was 
a red scaur impending over the Nith, as if made on purpose 


for the steps of a poet ; and there he was often found, watch- 
ing now the calm and rippling water, and now, with a stern 
delight and strange, the turbid waves of tlie spate-swollen 
river. Some of the neighbouring gentry paid him consider- 
able attention ; and ever and anon, young enthusiasts, like 
Sir Egerton Brydges, came, as pilgrims of his genius, to pay 
him the honour denied him, as usual v/ith the prophetic order, 
in his own country. Harest gleams of his old inspiration, too, 
burst, although fitfully, upon him. In the barn-yard of 
Ellisland, while the evening star was shining "like another 
moon," he sang that divine lyric to " Mary in Heaven." 
From his desk there, were issued many of his noblest letters, 
some of which are beautiful unrhymed poems ; and, wander- 
ing by the banks of the Nith, there "came on" him, in the 
gush of one glorious hour, "Tamo' Shanter;" perhaps the 
finest short poem ever written, and in which animalism itself 
is made to glow and glitter into poetry, and Bacchus is 
crowned, not with vine, but with laurel leaves. Still Burns 
was not happy. He felt himself in a false position, and that 
his work — which, while he was at the plough, had been his 
pride — now that he was a ganger, had become his degradation. 
He was much in convivial society. His farm, too, was like 
all the farms with which lie had ever been connected, an un- 
fortunate speculation ; and he at last determined to throw it 
up, and to remove to Dumfries. This was in December 
1791. Lord Glencairn had died a little before, and poor 
Burns, who felt that the last link between him and the 
Scotch nobility was now severed, had sung a plaintive elegy 
over his grave. 

Dumfries was then, as it still is, a small town, beautifully 
situated on the banks of the Nith, in a green, rich valley, 
bounded by the huge Criffel to the south, and the high Queens- 
berry Hill to the north. Its society was then, as still, when 
compared with towns of the same size in Scotland, of rather a 
refined and intellectual sort, although much more convivial 
than at present in its habits. In this " Queen of the South," 
as it is often called. Burns set up the staff of his rest — if the 
term rest can be applied to the four most miserable of his few 


and unhappy years. A little after he came to Dumfries, he 
paid a final visit to Edinburgh, and had a last interview with 
Clarinda, then preparing to join her husband in the West 
Indies. Returned, his gi'ief evaporated in some beautiful 
songs ; and he directed his attention to French politics, and 
to a new object of Platonic flirtation, the accomplished Maria 
Woodley — JMrs Riddell — a lady of taste and talent, although 
noted for her caprice. The times had become electric and 
portentous. It was the hour — memorable for ever in the his- 
tory of men — when, in the language of a poet kindred to 
Burns in enthusiasm for liberty, if not in masculine strength 

of genius — 

" Great France sprang forth, 
' And seized, as if to break the ponderous chains 

Which bind in woe the nations of the earth," 

and when her effort was welcomed with a shout of applause 
from all the ardent and enthusiastic spirits in Europe. Burns' 
heart — a heart crushed and withered under the pressure of 
poverty, pride, and a galling sense of aristocratic neglect — 
leapt up when he saw the beautiful rainbow of the French 
Revolution bridging the sky. Having assisted in capturing 
a smuggling vessel in the Solway Frith, he sent a present of 
the cannon found in her to the French Government — the act 
of a rasli enthusiast, not of a deliberate traitor, but which was 
long remembered and resented against the poet. 

In 1792, George Thomson, then a clerk in Edinburgh, 
along with some other amateurs, projected a collection of 
Scotch songs, and asked the aid of Burns. The poet, who 
had previously contributed many precious lyrics to Johnson's 
Scots Musical Museum, eagerly closed with the proposal, and, 
from that time to his death, scarcely a month passed witliout 
some immortal drop of song falling from his pen on Thom- 
son's favoured page. Pie did all this for nothing ,• and yet, 
surely the labour was its own reward ; and the composition of 
these songs was a secret spring of consolation to his chafed 
and embittered soul, and probably restrained him sometimes 
from the rashest actions, and soothed the fiercest thoughts. 
The old inspiration of the days of Mossgiel refused now to 


settle down upon his pen, except wlien at his little folding- 
desk, or swinging to and fro in his arm-chair, he composed 
his songs, and sung them to, or had them sung by, his own 

In 1792 a young woman connected with the Glohe Tavern 
— his favourite haunt — bore him a daughter, whom Jean 
adopted as her own, fed at her own bosom, and when asked 
what child that was, replied, with inimitable simplicity, " A 
ncibour's bairn." Soon after, his enthusiastic admiration of the 
French Revolution, expressed in toasts, songs, letters, and 
conversation, attracted the attention of the Board of Excise, 
led to remonstrances, and, but for Burns' celebrity and the in- 
fluence of some of his friends, would have issued in his 
dismissal. His conduct was certainly, in the last degree, 
imprudent, and in some measure unreasonable. Had he not 
sold his birthright for fifty pounds a-year, and was it not now 
rather late to quarrel with the bargain ? As a ganger and 
Government servant, he had no business to take a part in 
political agitations. The fault lay in his position, or rather 
in the poverty which rendered that position involuntary and 

In the year 1793 he began well with writing some beautiful 
songs, such as " Lord Gregory," for Thomson ; came to a 
climax in September by the production of " Scots wha hae 
wi' Wallace bled" (composed, John Syme says, among the 
moors of Kenmure, Galloway, and according to others, in one 
of his evening walks by the side of the Nith), but fell off sadly 
in the close, when not only did his political escapades excite 
general suspicion, but some unfortunate excesses led to an 
estrangement from such warm friends as the Riddells, and 
others of the upper classes in Dumfries. In this he was not 
entirely to blame. Some of these friends — John Bushby, for 
instance, of Tinwald Downs — sometimes entertained the poet 
in the housekeeper's room till dinner was over, and then, with 
the wine, was this Samson brought in to make the company 
sport. Chambers says this was by Burns' own choice — a 
statement we much question. It is far more probable that such 
treatment had roused his anger, and that in some unguarded 


moment he had shown them what terrible sport a Samson 
could make — that he had, by sarcasm and invective, shaken 
the pillars of the house, and was invited there no more. It 
"was tlie swallowing of this burning coal of insult, and not a 
bit of hot pudding (see Chambers) which led, we suspect, to 
the quarrel between Bushby and Burns. 

1794 was the darkest year in all Burns' dark sojourn on 
earth. His expected promotion in the Excise was now ar- 
rested, as it turned out, for ever; and many doors in Dum- 
fries and its neighbourhood, once wide open, were shut in his 
face. It was at this time that David M'Culloch, of Ardwell, 
saw him walking down the shady side of the street, while all 
the gentry in the neighbourhood, assembled for a ball, were 
parading the other, taking no notice of the poet. Insinuations 
of the darkest kind — probably far darker than the truth — were 
circulating busily against his morals, his religious opinions, the 
jeux cCesp'it he was inditing, and the company of his private 
hours. Even the secret solace of song- writing, this spring was 
closed for some time, and was only opened again by tlie force 
of a ridiculous passion for a Mrs Whelpdale (the Chloris of 
many a sweet and many a silly ditty), which he seems to have 
conceived in the autumn. There is no parallel instance of 
such a universal rejection of a gifted and admired man except 
in the case of Byron in 1816. But Byron possessed the money- 
power, and used it in expediting a Parthian retreat from his 
angry country. Burns' poverty compelled him to remain, 
else, unquestionably, he too would have fled Dumfries, and 
shot barbed arrows behind him at every step of his departure. 
As it was, he persisted in the duties of his calling — " consumed 
his own smoke " as successfully as he could, and tried to hope 
in better times. But certainly we can conceive few more 
painful spectacles than that of this great, unhappy, indignant 
being, pacing along the banks of the Nitli, or going out at even- 
tide to Lincluden, perhaps with " a pocket copy of Milton, 
that he might study the character of Satan," in his hands, and, 
with something of Satanic pride, misery and remorse in Iiis 
heart. Retreat from men was, however, a far greater punish- 
ment to Burns than to Byron, for the former was a sincere 


lover of his kind, and valued tlieir love even more than their 

In 1795 things seemed to mend. He commenced the year 
with that noble strain " A man's a man for a' that," — one 
of his very highest inspirations, and before which, as at the 
blast of a trumpet, some of the spectres that haunted him 
fled for a season. He was reconciled to the beautiful Maria 
Riddell. Some of the Dumfries gentry began to smile on 
him once more. The political ferment had subsided, and 
Burns, by writing some patriotic songs, and afterwards joining 
the volunteers, gained golden opinions from all parties, without 
compromising his own principles. And although he had in 
the end of the preceding year refused an invitation to go to 
London, and contribute to the Morning Chronicle^ he was 
flattered this year by some prospect of an Excise promotion 
in Leith. He mingled at this time, too, in the electioneering- 
politics of the district, and wrote some spirited ballads in 
favour of Heron, the Whig candidate ; but subjected himself, 
by this proceeding, to the severest and wittiest retort ever 
made to his sarcasm, in the shape of an epigram from 
Martial, modernised by Dr Muirhead, minister of Urr. This, 
as it is said to have produced a great impression at the time, 
we may quote : — 

" Vacerras, shabby son of 

Why do thy patrons keep thee poor ? 
Bribe-worthy service thou canst boast, 
At once their bulwark and their post — • 
At once a sycophant, a traitor, 
A liar, a calumniator, 

AVho, conscience (hadst thou that) would sell, 
Nay, lave (quere, rake) the very sewer of heU 
For whisky. Eke, most precious imp, 
Thou art a rhymster, ganger, pimp, 
Whence comes it, then, Vacerras, that 
Thou art as poor as a church rat 1 " 

This, of course, must be taken cum grano salis / but the fact 
that Burns felt it keenly, shows that there was some truth, as 
well as much vigour and venom in the lines. 


And now came 1796 — the last year this ill-fated poet was 
destined to see. He had lost his infant daughter in the 
autumn, at Mauchline, and was unable to go westward to her 
funeral. He had been seized by an " accidental complaint " 
in October 1795, but had rallied somewhat. In November he 
had been visited by Professor Walker, an amiable, scholarly, 
and excellent man — but who was rather too much of a 
formalist and a martinet to appreciate Burns, and whose 
account of his intercourse with him is stiff and stilted to a 
degree. Early in January, the poet unfortunately staid too 
late at the Globe Tavern, and on his Avay home dropped 
asleep in the snow. '' In these circumstances," says Chambers, 
" and in the peculiar condition to which a severe medicine had 
reduced his constitution, a fatal chill penetrated to his bones." 
A rheumatic fever was the consequence, and his shattered 
system could not long resist the effects. It is hardly ne- 
cessary to trace the successive scenes of a tragedy so well 
known. Suffice it to say, that, after various vain attempts to 
recruit his strength, such as visiting the Brow for sea-bathing, 
&c,, the unfortunate poet, on the 21st July, with his wife 
near her confinement, his mind horrified by the dread of a jail 
on account of a debt of L.7, 4s., with delirium in his brain, 
and a muttered curse on the creditor in his mouth, closed his 
weary pilgrimage. His wife survived him till 1834. Of his 
children, several died in infancy. Robert, James Glencoirn, 
and William Nicol, still live. Great and instant efforts were 
made for the relief of his family. 

It is impossible to close this necessarily rapid outline of 
Burns' life — an estimate of his genius and poetry we re- 
sers^e for the preface to our next volume — without a few 
remarks and reflections on his character and history. 
W^e are not among the number of those who charge him 
with enormous turpitude ; nor are we among his out-and-out 
defenders. He was not a drunkard, in the common sense of 
that term. He was not, deliberately and systematically^ 
profane, or even licentious. He was not a disbeliever in 
Cliristianity ; and he was, in many points, a brave, honest, 
Ligh-minded, and benevolent man. But there were elements 


of foil J, levity, coarseness, inconsistency, and weakness almost 
incredible, in so strong a man, mingled in his composition j 
and these elements had never been subjected to any check, or 
laid under any control. If we could believe, in reference to 
any man, the theory of two or more different beings com- 
posing one humanity, it were in the case of Burns. Think 
of the author of " The Cottars' vSaturday Night" writing the 
" Jolly Beggars " and the " Merry Muses ! '* Some may 
account for this by saying he wrote the one sober and the 
other drunk ; even this does not fully explain it — Philip 
drunk had a certain resemblance to Philip sober — but the 
Burns of " Holy Willie's Prayer " has none to the Burns of 
" Mary in Heaven." Some may say, " He must have simu- 
lated the sensations of piety and lofty enthusiasm," and may 
even contend that all genius thus simulates, and quote the 
words of Moore : — 

" What an impostor Genius is ! 
How, with that strong mimetic art, 

Which is its hfe and soul, it takes 
All shapes of thought, all hues of heart ; 

Nor feels itself one throb it wakes. 
How, like a gem, its light may smile 

O'er the dark path by mortals trod ; 
Itself as mean a worm, the while. 

As crawls along the sullying road. 
What sensibility may fall 

From its false lip, what plans to bless, 
While home, friends, kindred, country, all 

Lie waste beneath its selfishness." 

This may, peradventure, be an accurate description of the 
genius of Pousseau, to whom it refers 5 or of Byron's or 
Moore's own ; but it certainly is not an accurate picture of 
the genius of Scotland's great national poet. He was no 
simulator, but intensely sincere ; and, while writing " The 
Cottars' Saturday Night," not only felt at the moment all the 
emotions he expressed, but felt them in all his better and 
higher moods, as many of his letters, and the records of his 
conversation, prove. In vain to say that we find parallel 
cases in literary history ; such as Lord Byron writing 


"Childe Harold" as well as "Don Juan." The spirit of 
both these poems is selfish ; although in the one it is subli- 
mated, and in the other, slipshod and sneering, selfishness. 
But the spirit of " The Cottars' Saturday Night " is almost 
scriptural in its holiness and simplicity ; while that of many 
of his poems and songs is intensely and grossly sensual. The 
fact is, Burns — more than almost any celebrated man — wanted 
stability. He was everything by turns, and nothing long. 
He yielded to all impulses, good or bad — high or low — that 
assailed him. He was at the mercy of innumerable moods, as 
diverse from each other as heaven from hell. He began life as 
a Jacobite in politics ; he ended it as a Jacobin. He often 
loved several females at the same time; and no sooner had 
one forsaken him, than he had another ready to supply her 
place. His opinions of men, too, were continually fluctuating. 
His genius partook of the same uncertainty, and so did his 
taste and his moral frame. From divinest poetry to sheer 
doggrel, how frequently did he descend, within the compass 
of a single page ! He often began his letters with flights of 
sentiment, which were proved sincere by their exquisite truth 
and tenderness, and closed them with verses disgustingly 
obscene. A bundle of these unpublished letters Byron saw, 
and the perusal of them led him to call Burns a compound of 
" dirt and deity." All the critics who have tried to find out 
unity in Bm-ns' character have failed. He was 

" A glorious (^haos 
Of mind and dust, of ijassions and pure thoughts." 

Nothing too high, and nothing too low, could be believed or 
asserted concerning him. He was a living antithesis — a mag- 
nificent weathercock — a striking and awful witness to that 
shock, wdiicli has crossed and shattered humanity, to the 
Scripture doctrine of a Fall. 

If these remarks seem to cast no new light on Burns' 
character and history, it is partly because on such an in- 
consistent and anomalous character little satisfactory light 
can be cast; its contradictions were never reconciled, its 
controversies raged on till the very hour of death, and 
despair over the unresolved and unresolvable problem of 


his liistoiy, will always mingle with, and shade, the de- 
light Avith which Ave peruse the miracles of his genius. 
Much of this inconsistency may, indeed, be traced to his irre- 
gular education, and his poverty-stricken circumstances, as 
well as to his want of sound, solid Christian principle. But 
whatever the cause, the effect is certain, lie had no leading 
principle or guiding star : — not conscience, for that was often 
asleep ; not benevolence, for his liumane feelings^ though sin- 
cere, were fluctuating and uncertain ; not religion, for although 
not an infidel, neither was he a firm believer ; not a high ideal 
of art, for to this he had never risen ; not even his boasted 
independence, for no man, at times, descended, although it was 
with reluctance, to more servile flatteries. Impulse was his 
idol, and this acting on a nature in which the passions were 
greater than even the powers, made wild work, strengthened 
what in him was low and animal, weakened what in him was 
high and noble — infuriated his passions and degraded his 
genius. Indeed, why have critics and moralists wasted so 
much time in discussing the moral character of Burns? He 
saw it, at an early period, with his own inevitable eye, and in 
his " Bard's Epitaph," has, in living colours, at once painted 
his character, and predicted his fate. In it we see the jirophet 
as well as the poet. 

Note. — For the sake of convenience, a complete Glossary is given 
with the First Vohime. A full Index, giving the first line of all the 
songs, &c., will be added in the Third Volume of the Poems. 



The Twa Dogs 1 

Scotch Drink 9 

The Author's earnest Cry and 
Prayer to the Scotch Kepre- 
sentatives in the House of 

Commons 13 

The Holy Fair 20 

Death and Dr Hornbook . . 29 

Tiie Brigs of Ayr SG 

The Ordination 44 

'/The Calf 48 

^Address to the De'ii .... 49 
.^The Dealli and Dying Words of 
poorMailie, the Author's only 

Pet Yoive 54 

To James Smith 58 

A Dream 64 

The Vision 69 ' 

Address to the Unco Giiid, or 

t!ie Eigidiy Righteous . . 79 

Tani Samson's Elegy .... 81 

Hallowe'en 85 

,. The Auld Farmer's New-Year 

Alorning Salutation ... 9G 

• To a Mouse 100 

Winter Night 102 

Epistle to Davie 105 

The Lament 110 

Despondency 113 

I /IfFinler 115 

J The Cottar's Saturday Night . 1 Iff' 

Man was Made to Mourn . . 123 
A Prayer in the Prospect of 

Deatii 126 

Stanzas on the Same Occasion . 1:^7 

Verses 128 

The First Psalm 129 

A Prayer under the Pressure of 

Violent Anguish .... 130 
The First Six Verses of tlie Nine- 

., ' tietli Psalm 131 

VTo a Mountain Daisy . . . 132 

To Huin 134 

To Miss Logan 135 


Epistle to a Young Friend . , IdG , 

On a Scotch Bard 139 ^' 

To a Haggis 141 

A Dedication to Gavin Hamil- 
ton, Esq 143 ^ 

To a Louse 147 ■'^ Cj 

Address to Edinburgh . . . 149 
Epistle to J. Lapraik, an old 

Scottish Bard 151 

To the Same 156 

To AV. Simpson, Ochiltree . . 159 

Epistle to J. Rankine . . . 16G 

John Barleycorn ir>9 

A Fragment 171 

It was upon a Lammas Night . 174 

Song composed in August . . 1 75 

My Nannie, ! ..... 177 

Green grow the Rashes . . . 178 

Again rejoicing Nature sees . 179 
The gloomy Night is gathering 

fast 180 

From thee, Eliza, I must go . 182 
The Farewell to the Brethren of 

St James's Lodge, Tarbolton 182 
No Churcimian am I ... 184 
Written in Friars-Carse Her- 
mitage 185 

Ode, Sacred to the Memory of 

Mrs Oswald of Auchencruive 187 
Elegy on Captain Matthew 

Henderson 188 

Lament of Mary, Queen of Scots 193 
First Epistle to Mr Graham of 

Fintry 195 

Second Epistle to Ditto . . . 198 
Third Epistle to Ditto ... 202 
Fourth Epistle to Ditto ... 205 
Lament for James, Earl of Glen- 
cairn 205 

Lines sent to Sir John White- 

foord, of Whitcfoord, Bart. . 20S j^.^^ ' 

Tarn o' Shanter 209/ 7>-^*^' 

On seeing a Wounded Hare '' 

limp by 216 




Address to the Sliade of Thom- 
son ....'.... 2G1 

EpiTAms — 

■^ On a celebrated llnlhig Ehler 2 1 7 

On a Noisy Polemic . . . 217 

On Wee Johnny . . . . 218 

For tlie Author's Father . . 218 

I /f' For Robert Aiken, Esq. . . 218 

. /! For Gavin Hamilton, Esq. . 218 

"*»' -A Bard's Epitaph .... 218 

f — ^ 
On the Late Cajttain Grose's 
Peregrinations through Scot- 
land 220 

To Miss Crnikshanks . . . 222 

Anna, thy charms .... 223 
On Reading, in a Newspaper, 
the Death of John JM'Leod, 

Esq 223 

The Humble Petition of Bruar 

Water 225 

On Scaring some Waterfowl in 

Loch-Turit 228 

Written with a Pencil over the 
Chimney-piece in the Parlour 
of the Inn at Kenraore, Tay- 

mouth 229 

Written witli a Pencil, standing 

by the Fall of Fyers ... 230 
On the Birth of a Posthumous 

Child 231 

TheAVhistle 232 

Second Epistle to Davie, a Bro- 
ther Poet 235 

The Lea-Rig 237 

Will ye Go to the Indies, my 

Mary? 238 

My Wife's a Winsome Wee 

, Thing 239 

Bonnie Lesley 240 

^ Highland Mary 241 

Auld Rob l\Ionis 242 

Duncan Gray 243 

poortith cauld 244 

Gala Water 245 

j Lord Gregory 246 

^ Mary Morison 247 

Wandering Willie 248 

Open the Door to me ! . . 249 

Jessie 249 

When wild War's deadly Blast 

was Blawn 250 

Meg o' the Mill 252 

Blithe hae I been on yon Hill . 253 

Logan Water 254 

01), gin my Love were yon Red 

Rose 255 


Bonnie Jean 256 

Phillis the Fair 258 

Had I a Cave 259 

By Allan Stream I chanced to 

Rove 259 

Oh whistle, and I'll come to you, 

my lad .260 

Adown winding Nith I did 

wander 261 

Come, let me take Thee to my 

breast 262 

Dainty Davie 263 

-Scots wha hae '264 i 

Behold the Hour 265 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie . 265 i ^ 

Auld Lang Syne 266>^ 

Fair Jenny 267 ' 

Deluded Swain, the pleasure . 268 

Nancy 269 

My Spouse, Nancy .... 269 

Wilt Thou be my" Dearie? . . 271 

The Banks of Cree .... 271 
Lines written on a Copy of 

Thomson's Songs .... 272 

On the Seas and Far Away. . 273 

Ca' the Yowes to the Knowcs . 274 

She says she Lo'es me best of a' 275 
To Dr Maxwell, on Miss Jessy 

Staig's Recovery .... 277 

Saw ye my Phely ? . . . . 277 
How lang and dreary is the 

Night 278 

Let not Woman e'er complain . 278 
The Lover's Morning Salute to 

his Mistress 279 

The Winter of Life .... 280 

Chloris 281 

Song, altered from an old Eng- 

lisli one 282 

Lassie wi' the Lint-white Locks 283 
Farewell, thou Stream that 

winding flows 284 

Philly and Willy 285 

Contented wi' Little .... 287 
Canst thou leave me thus, my 

Katy? 287 

My Nannie's Awa' .... 288 

For a' that, and a' that . . . 28'J 

Craigie-burn Wood .... 290 

Lassie, art thou sleeping yet 291 

Her Answer 291 

Address to the Wood-Lark . . 292 

On Chloris being ill ... . 293 

Caledonia . 294 

'Twas na her bonnie blue e'e . 295 

How cruel are the Parents . . 295 

Mark yonder Pomp .... 296 

This is no my ain Lassie . . 297 



'TwAS in that place o' Scotland's isle 
That bears the name o' Auld King Coil,^ 
Upon a bonuie day in June, 
When wearing through the afternoon, 
Twa dogs that were na thrang at hame, 
Forgather'd ance upon a time. 

The first I'll name, they ca'd him Ca}sar, 
Was keepit for his honour's pleasure ; 
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs, 
Show'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogp, lo 

But whalpit some place far abroad, 
Where sailors gang to fish for cod. 

His locked, letter'd, braw brass collar 
Show'd him the gentleman and scholar ; 
But though he was o' high degree. 
The fient a pride — na pride had he ; 
But wad hae spent an hour caressiu', 
Ev'n wi' a tinkler-gypsy's messan. 
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie, 
Nae tawted tyke, though e'er sae duddic, 20 
But he wad stan't, as glad to see him, 
And stroan't on stanes an' hillocks M'i' him. 

' ' Aukl Kiny Coil : ' the ancient King of the Picta. 

burns' poems. 

The titlicr was a ploiigliman's collie, 25 

A rhyming, ranting, roving billie, 
Wha for his friend an' comrade had him, 
And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him. 
After some dog^ in Highland sanj:. 
Was made lang syne — Lord knows how lang. 

He was a gash an' faithful tyke, 
As ever lap a shcugh or dyke. 30 

His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face, 
Aye gat him friends in ilka place. 
His breast was white, his touzie back 
Weel clad wi' coat 0' glossy black ; 
His gaiicie tail, wi' upward curl, 
Huno; o'er his hurdies wi' a swirl. 

Nae doubt but they were fain 0' ither, 
And unco pack an' thick thegither ; 
Wi' social nose wliyles snufF'd and snowkit, 
Whyles mice and moudieworts they howkit ; 40 
AVhyles scour'd awa' in lang excursion. 
An' worried ither in diversion ; 
Until wi' daffin' weary grown. 
Upon a knowe they sat them down, 
And there began a lang digression, 
About the lords 0' the creation. 


I 've aften wonder'd, honest Luath, 
What sort o' life poor dogs like you have ; 
An' when the gentry's life I saw, 
What way poor bodies lived ava. 50 

Our Laird gets in his racked rents, 
His coals, his kain, and a' his stents ; 

• ' Dog : ' Cuchullin's dog in Ossian's ' Fingal.' — B. 


He rises -when he likes himsel' ; 53 

His flunkies answer at the bell ; 

He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse ; 

He draws a bonnie silken purse 

As lang's mj tail, whare, through the stocks, 

The yellow letter'd Gcordie keeks. 

Frae morn to e'en it 's nought but toiling, 
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling ; eo 

An' though the gentry first are stechiu, 
Yet ev'n the ha' folk fill their pechan 
Wi' sauce, i-agouts, and sic like trash trio. 
That 's little short 0' downright wastrie. 
Our whipper-in, M'ee blastit wonner, 
Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner, 
Better than ony tenant man 
His honour has in a' the Ian' : 
An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in, 
I own it's past my comprehension. 70 


Troth, Caesar, wliyles they 're fash't eneugh ; 
A cottar howkin' in a sheu2;h, 
Wi' dirty stanes biggin' a dyke, 
Baring a quarry, and sic like : 
Himself, a wife, he thus sustains, 
A smytrie 0' wee duddie weans, 
x\n' nought but his han' darg, to keej) 
Them right and tight in thack an' rape. 

An' when they meet wi' sair disasters, 
Like loss 0' health, or want 0' masters, 80 

Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer. 
An' they maun starve 0' cauld and hunger ; 
But, how it comes, I never kenn'd it, 
Tlioy're maistly wonderfu' contented; 

burns' rOEMS. 

An' buirdly cliicls, an' clever liizzies, 85 

Are bred in sic a way as this is. 


But then to see how ye 're neglcckit, 
How hufi'Vl, and cuiF'd, and disrespeckit ! 

L , man, oiir gentry care as little 

For delvcrs, ditchers, an' sic cattle ; so 

They gang as saucy by puir folk 
As I wad by a stinkin' brock. 

I 've noticed, on our Laird's court-day, . ,,/ ^-\k' -\ 
An' mony a time my heart 's been wae, 
Puir tenant bodies, scant o' cash. 
How they maun thole a factor's snash \o)r*^^^ 
lie '11 stamp an' threaten, curse an' swear. 
He '11 apprehend them, poind their gear ; 
AVhile they maun stan', wi' aspect humble, 
An' hear it a', an' fear and tremble ! loo 

I see how folk live that hae riches ; 
But surely poor folk maun be wretches ! 


They 're nae sae wretched 's ane wad think ; 
Though constantly on poortith's brink : 
They 're sae accustom'd wi' the sight, 
The view o 't gies them little fright. 
Then chance and fortune are sae guided, 
They 're aye in less or mair provided ; 
An' though fatigued wi' close employment, 
A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment. no 

The dearest comfort o' their lives, 
Their grushie weans and faithfu' wives ; 
The prattling things are just their pride, 
That sweetens a' their fireside. 


An' wlijles twalpeniiy worth o' nappy lis 

Can mak the bodies unco happy ; 

They lay aside tlieir private cares, 

To mind the Kirk and State affairs : 

They '11 talk o' patronage and priests, 

Wi' kindling fury in their breasts, 120 

Or tell what new taxation 's comin', 

An' ferlie at the folk in Lon'on. 

As bleak-faced Hallowmas returns. 
They get the jovial, ranting kirns, 
When rural life, 0' every station. 
Unite in common recreation ; 
Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth 
Forgets there 's Care upo' the earth. 

That merry day the year begins, 
They bar the door on frosty win's ; 130 

The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream, 
An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam ; 
The luntin' pipe, an' sneeshin mill, 
Are handed round wi' right guid will ; 
The canty auld folks crackin' crouse. 
The young anes rantin' through the house, — 
My heart has been sae fain to see them, 
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them. 

Still it 's ower true that ye hae said. 
Sic game is now owre aften play'd. ho 

There 's raony a creditable stock 
0' decent, honest, fawsont folk, 
Are riven out baith root and branch. 
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench, 
Wha thinks to knit himsel' the faster 
In favour wi' some gentle master, 
Wha, aiblins, thrang a parliamcntin'. 
For Britain's guid his saul indcntin' — 

burns' poems. 


Haith, lad, je little ken about it : H9 

For Britain's guid ! — guid faith, T doubt it ! 
Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead hiiu, 
An' saying Aye or No 's they bid him : 
At operas an' plays parading, 
^Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading ; 
Or may be, in a frolic daft, 
To Hague or Calais takes a waft, 
To make a tour, and tak a whirl, 
To learn hon ton, an' see the worl'. 

There, at Vienna or Versailles, 
He rives his father's auld entails ; ico 

Or by Madrid he takes the route, 
To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowte ; 
Or down Italian vista startles, 

W hunting amang groves o' myrtles ; 

Then bouses drumly German water, 

To mak himsel' look fair and fatter. 

An' clear the consequential sorrows, 

Love-gifts of Carnival signoras. 

For Britain's guid ! — for her destruction ! 

Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction. iro 


Ilech man ! dear sirs ! is that the gate 
They waste sae mony a braw estate "? 
Are we sae foughten an' harass'd 
For gear to gang that gate at last ? 

Oh would they stay aback frae courts, 
An' please themselves wi' kintra sports, 
It wad for every ane be better. 
The Laird, the Tenant, an' the Cottar ! 


For thae frank, rantin', ramblin' billies, i79 

Fient baet o' them 's ill-hearted felloAvs ; 
Except for breakiii' o' their timmer. 
Or speakin' lightly o' their limmer, 
Or shootiu' o' a hare or muircock, 
The ne'er a bit thej 're ill to poor folk. 

But will ye tell me, Master Caesar, 
Sure great folk's life 's a life o' pleasure ? 
Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them, 
The vera thought o 't needna fear them. 


L , man, were ye but whyles whare I am. 

The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em. loo 

It 's true, they needna starve or sweat, 

Through winter's cauld, or simmer's heat ; 

They 've nae sair wark to craze their banes, 

An' fill auld age wi' grips an' granes ; 

But human bodies are sic fools, 

For a' their colleges and schools, 

That when nae real ills perplex them. 

They make enow themsels to vex them ; 

An' aye the less they hae to sturt them. 

In like proportion less will hurt them. 200 

A country fellow at the pleugh. 

His acres till'd, he 's right eneugh ; 

A country girl at her wheel, 

Her dizzens done, she 's unco weel : 

But gentlemen, an' ladies warst, 

Wi' even-down want 0' wark are curst. 

They loiter, lounging, lank, an' lazy ; 

Thougli deil haet ails them, yet uneasy ; 

Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless ; 

Their nights unquiet, lang, an' restless. 2:0 


An' e'en their sports, tlicir balls an' races, 211 
Their galloping through public places, 
There 's sic parade, sic pomp, an' art, 
The joy can scarcely reach the heart. 
The men cast out in party matches. 
Then sowther a' in deep debauches ; 
Ae night they 're mad wi' drink an' w— ing, 
Neist day their life is past enduring. 

The ladies arm-in-arm in clusters, 
As great and gracious a' as sisters ; 220 

But hear tlieir absent thoughts 0' ither, 
Tliey 're a' run deils an' jads thcgither. 
Whyles, o'er the wee bit cup an' platie. 
They sip the scandal potion pretty ; 
Or lee-lang niglits, wi' crabbit leuks 
Pore owre the devil's picture-beuks ; 
Stake on a chance a farmer's stackyard. 
An' cheat like ony unhang'd blackguard. 

There 's some exception, man an' woman ; 
But this is gentry's life in common. 230 

By this, the sun was out 0' sight, 
An' darker gloamin' brought the night : 
The bum -clock humm'd wi' lazy drone ; 
The kye stood rowtin' i' the loan ; 
When up they gat, and shook their lugs, 
Rejoiced they were na men, but dogs ; 
An' each took aff his several way, 
Resolved to meet some ither day. 



' Gie him strong drink, until he wink, 
That 's sinking in ilespair ; 
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid, 

That 's prest wi' grief an' care ; 
Tiiere let liim bouse, an' deep carouse, 

Wi' bumpers flowing o'er, 
Till he forgets his loves or debts. 
An' minds his griefs no more.' 

Salomon's Proverbs, xxxi. 6, 7. 

1 Let other Poets raise a fr<acas 

'Bout vines, an' wines, an' drunken Bacchus, 
An' crabbit names an' stories wrack us, 

An' grate our lug, 
I sing the juice Scotch beare can mak us, 

In gh\ss or jug. 

2 thou, mj Muse ! guid auld Scotch drink ; 
Whether through wirapling worms thou jink, 
Or, richly brown, ream o'er the brink. 

In glorious faera, 
Inspire me, till I lisp and wink. 

To sing thy name ! 

3 Let husky wheat the haughs adorn, 
An' aits set up their awnie horn, 
An' pease and beans, at e'en or morn. 

Perfume the plain, 
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn, 
Thou kino; o' p;rain ! 

4 On thee aft Scotland chows her cood, 
In souple scones, the wale o' food ! 


Or tumbliu' in the boil in' flood, 
Wi' kail an' beef; 

But when tliou pours thy strong heart's blood. 
There thou shiucs chief. 


Food fills the \vanie, an' keeps us liviu' ; 
Hiougli life 's a gift no worth receivin', 
When heavy dragg'd wi' pine an' grievin' ; 

But, oil'd by thee, 
The wheels o' life gae downhill, scricvin', 

Wi' rattlin' dee. 

6 Thou clears the head o' doited Lear ; 
Thou cheers the heart o' drooping Care ; 
Thou strings the nerves o' Labour sair, 

At 's weary toil ; 
Thou even brightens dark Despair 
Wi' gloomy smile. 

7 Aft, clad in massy silver weed, 
Wi' gentles thou erects thy head ; 
Yet humbly kind in time o' need. 

The poor man's wine, 
His wee drap parritch, or his bread. 
Thou kitchens fine. 

8 Thou art the life o' public haunts ; 

But thee, what were our fairs and rants 1 
Even godly meetings o' the saunts, 

By thee inspired, 
W^hen gaping they besiege the tents, 

Are doubly fired. 

9 That merry night we get the corn in, 

sweetly then thou reams the horn in ! 


Or reekin' on a New-year morniu'. 

In cog or bicker, 
An' just a wee clrap sp'ritual burn in, 

An' gustj sucker ! 

J When Vulcan gies his bello\vs breath. 
An' ploughmen gather wi their graith. 
Oh rare ! to see thee fizz an' freath 

r th' lugget cap ! 
Then Burnewin comes on like death 

At ev'rj chap. 

1 1 Nae mercy then for aim or steel, 
The brawnie, bainie, ploughman chiel 
Brings hard owrehip, \vi' sturdy wheel, 

The strong forehammer. 
Till block and studdie ring and reel 
Wi' dinsome clamour. 

12 When skirlin' weanies see the light, 
Thou maks the gossips clatter bright. 
How fumbliu' cuifs their dearies slight ; 

Wae worth the name ! 
Nae howdie gets a social night, 

Or plack frae them. 

13 When neebours anger at a plea, 
x\n' just as wud as wud can be, 
How easy can the barley bree 

Cement the quarrel ! 
It 's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee 
To taste the barrel. 

14 Alake ! that e'er my Muse has reason 
To wyte her countrymen wi' treason ! 

12 burns' poems. 

But mony daily wcct their weason 
Wi' liquors nice, 

An' hardly, in a winter's season, 

E'er spier her price. 

15 Wae worth that brandy, burning trash! 
Fell source o' niony a pain an' brash I 
Twins mony a poor doylt, drunken hash, 

0' half 'his days! 
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash 

To her warst faes. 

1 G Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well, 
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell ; 
Poor plackless devils like mysel', 

It sets you ill, 
Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell. 
Or foreign gill 

17 May gravels round hi-s blather wrench. 
An' gouts torment him inch by inch, 
Wha twists his gruntle wi' a glunch 

0' sour disdain. 
Out owre a glass o' whisky punch 
Wi' honest men. 
ISO Whisky, soul o' plays an' pranks ! 
Accept a Bardie's gratefu' thanks ; 
When wantin' thee, what tuneless cranks 

Are my poor verses ! 
Thou comes — they rattle i' their ranks 
At ither's ! 

19 Thee, Ferintosh ! oh sadly lost ! 
Scotland lament frae coast to coast ! 


Now colic grips, an' barldn' hoast, 

Maj kill us a' ; 
For lojal Forbes' ^ charter'd boast 

Is ta'en awa ! 

20 Thae curst liorse-leecbes o' tli' Excise, 
Wba mak tbe wbiskj stells tbeir prize ! 
Ilaud up tbj bau', Deil ! ance, twice, tbrice ! 

Tbere, seize tbe blinkers ! 
An' bake tbem up in brunstane pies 

For poor drinkers. 

Fortune ! if tbou '11 but gie me still 
Hale breeks, a scone, an' whiskj gill. 
An' rowtb o' rlijme to rave at will, 

Tak' a' tbe rest. 
An' deal 't about as tbj blind skill 

Directs tbee best. 



' Dearest of distillation ! last and best, 

IIow ait thou lost ! ' 

Parody on Milton. 

1 Ye Irisb lords, ye kniglits an' squires, 
Wba represent our brugbs an' sbires, 

' 'Forbes' of Culloden, who first, by an Act of Parliament, was cm- 
powered to distil whisky at his barony of Ferintosh, free of duty. In 1785 
this privilege was abolished, but a handsome compensation was made to the 
Forbes family.—^ ' Prayer : ' this was written before the Act anent the Scotch 
iJisiilleries, of session 1786; for which Scotland and the author return their 
most i,n-atcful tiianks.— ZJ. Previous to that the excise laws were enforced 
with the utmost rigour. 

14 burns' roEMS. 

An' doucelj manage our affairs 

In parliament, 
To you a simple Bardie's prayers 
Are humbly sent. 

2 Alas ! my roopit Muse is hearse ! 

Your honours' hearts wi' grief 'twad pierce, 
To see her sittin' on her 

Low i' the dust, 
An' screechin' out prosaic verse, 

An' like to brust ! 

3 Tell them wha hae the chief direction, 
Scotland an' me 's in great affliction. 
E'er sin' they laid that curst restriction 

On aqua vitse ; 
An' rouse them up to strong conviction, 
An' move their pity. 

4 Stand forth, an' tell yon Premier youth,' 
The honest, open, naked truth ; 

Tell him o' mine an' Scotland's droutli. 
His servants humble : 

The muckle devil blaw ye south, 
If ye dissemble ! 

5 Does ony great man glunch an' gloom ^ 
Speak out, an' never fash your thoom ! 
Let posts an' pensions sink or soom 

Wi' them wha grant 'em : 
If honestly they canna come, 

Far better want 'em. 

' ' Premier youth : ' Pitt. 


6 In gatli'rin' votes jou were na slack ; 
Now stand as tightly bv your tack ; 
Ne'er claw your lug, an' fidge your back, 

An' hum an' haw ; 
But raise your arm, an' tell your crack 
Before them a'. 

7 Paint Scotland greetin' owre her thrissle ; 
Her mutchkin stoup as toom's a whistle ; 
An' excisemen in a bussle. 

Seizin' a stell, 
Triumphant crushin 't like a mussel, 
Or lampit shell. 

8 Then on the tither hand present her, 

A blackguard smufrder right behint her. 
An' cheek- for-chow, a chuffie vintner, 

Colleaguing join, 
Picking her pouch as bare as winter 

Of a' kind coin. 

9 Is there, that bears tlie name o' Scot, 
But feels his heart's bluid rising hot, 
To see his poor auld mither's pot 

Thus dung in staves, 
An' plunder'd o' her hindmost groat 
By gallows knaves 1 

10 Alas! I'm but a nameless wight, 
Trod i' the mire out o' sight ! 
But could I like Montgomerics' fight. 

Or gab like Boswell,^ 
There's some sark-nccks I wad draw tigiit, 

An' tic some hose well. 

' ' Montgomeiics : ' aftenvarda the twelfth Lord Eglinton.— ^ ' Boswell : ' 
Johnson's Bozzy. 

1 G burns' poems. 

11 God bless jour honours, can ye sec't. 
The kind, auld, cantic carlin greet, 
An' no get warmly to jour feet, 

An' gar tliem hear it, 
An' tell tlicm wi' a patriot heat 

Ye "winna bear it 1 

12 Some o' you nicelj ken the hiws, 
To round the period and pause, 
An' \vi' rhetoric clause on clause 

To mak harangues ; 
Then echo through Saint Stephen's wiis 
Auld Scotland's wranirs. 

13 Dempster,^ a true-blue Scot I'se warran' ; 
Thee, aith-detesting, chaste Kilkerran ; '^ 
An' that glibe-gabbet Iligliland baron, 

The Laird o' Graham ; ^ 

An' aue, a chap that's auldfarran, 

Dundas ^ his name. 

14 Erskine,^ a spunkie Norland billie ; 
True Campbells, Frederick an' Ilav ; ^ 
An' Livingstone, the bauld Sir Willie : 

An' monj ithers, 
Whom auld Demosthenes or Tully 

Might own for brithers. 

lo Arouse, my boys ! exert your mettle 
To get auld Scotland back her kettle ; 

' ' Dempster : ' of Dunnichen, Angussliire. — - ' Kilkerran : ' Sir Adain 
Ferguson. — ' ' The Laird o' Graham : ' Duke of Montrose. — ■* ' Dundas : ' 
afterwards Lord Melville. — * ' Erskinc : ' Thomas, afterwards Lord Erskine. — 
* ' Frederick and Islay : ' one Lord Register, and the other Lord Advocate, for 


Or faith ! 1 11 wad raj new pleugli-pettlc, 
Ye '11 see 't or lang, 

She '11 teach you, wi' a reekin' w^hittle. 
Anither sang. 

16 This while she's been in crankous mood, 
Her lost mihtia^ fired her bluid ; 

(Deil na they never mair do guid, 

Plaj'd her that pliskie !) 

An' now she 's like to rin red-wiid 
About her whiskv. 

1 7 An' L — , if ance they pit her till 't, 
Her tartan petticoat she '11 kilt. 
An' durk an' pistol at her belt, 

She '11 tak the streets, 
An' rin her whittle to the hilt, 

r th' first she meets ! 

18 For G — sake, sirs! tlien speak her fair, 
An' straik her cannie wi' the liair. 

An' to the muckle house repair, 

Wi' instant speed. 
An' strive wi' a' your wit and lear 

To get remead. 

19 Yon ill-tongued tinkler Charlie Fox, 
May taunt you wi' his jeers an' mocks ; 
But gie him 't het, my hearty cocks I 

E'en cowe the cadie ! 
An' send him to liis dicing!; box 
An' sportiu' lady, 

' ' Militia:' ;i Militia Bill in 1782, when the country was threatened with 
invasion, was mangled by Rockingiiam, and lost. 


18 burns' roEMS. 

20 Tell 3'on guid bluid o' auld Boconnock's ' 
I '11 be his debt twa mashlum bannocks. 

An' drink his health in auld Nanse Tinnock's ^ 
Nine times a-week, 

If he some scheme, like tea an' winnoeks,^ 
AVad kindly seek. 

21 Could he some commutation broach, 

1 11 pledge my aith in guid braid Scotch, 
lie need na fear their foul reproach. 

Nor erudition, 
Yon mixtie-maxtie queer hotch-potch, 

The Coalition." 

22 Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue ; 
She 's just a devil wi' a rung ; 

An' if she promise auld or young 

To tak their part, 
Though by the neck she should be strung, 

She '11 no desert. 

23 An' now, ye chosen five-and-forty, 

May still your mither's heart support ye ; 
Then, though a minister grow dorty, 

An' kick your place, 
Ye '11 snap your fingers, poor an' hearty. 

Before his face. 

24 God bless your honours a' your days, 
Wi' sowps o' kail and brats o' claise, 

' ' Boconnock : ' tlie Earl of Chatham was the son of Robert Pitt of Bocon- 
nock, in Cornwall. — ^ 'Nanse Tinnock : ' u worthj^ old hostess of the author's 
iu Mauchliiie, where he sometimes studies politics over a glass of guid auld 
Scotch drink.— i>. — ' ' Tea an' winnocks : ' Pitt reduced the tax on tea, and 
laid one ou windows, in ITSi, — '' 'Coalition:' between Fox, North, and 


In sjDite o' a' tJie thievish kaes, 

That haunt St Jamie's ! 

Your humble poet sings an' prays 

While Rab his name is. 


25 Let half-starved slaves, in warmer skies, 
See future wines, rich clustering, rise ; 
Their lot auld Scotland ne'er envies, 

But blithe and frisky, 
She eyes her freeborn, martial boys, 

Tak aif their whiskv. 


26 What though their Phoebus kinder warms, 
While fragrance blooms and beauty charms ! 
When wretches range, in famish'd swarms, 

The scented groves. 
Or hounded forth, dishonour arms 
In hungry droves. 

27 Their gun 's a burden on their shouther ; 
They down a bide the stink o' powthcr ; 
Their bauldest thought 's a hankering swither 

To Stan' or rin, 
Till skelp — a shot — they're aff, a'throwthcr, 
To save their skin. 

28 But bring a Scotsman frae his hill, 
Clap in his cheek a Highland gill. 
Say, such is royal George's will, 

An' there 's the foe, 
lie has nae thought but how to kill 
Twa at a blow. 


29 Nae cauld, faint-li carted doubtings tease liim ; 
Death comes, — \vi' fearless eye he sees him ; 
Wi' bhiidy hand a welcome gies him ; 

An' when he fa's, 
Ilis latest draught o' breathiu' lea'es him 
In faint huzzas ! 

30 Sages their solemn e'en may steek, 
An' raise a philosophic reek, 

An' physically causes seek, 

In clime and season. 

But tell me whisky's name in Greek, 
I '11 tell the reason. 

31 Scotland, my auld, respected mitlier! 
Though whiles ye moistify your leather, 
Till whare ye sit, on craps o' heather, 

Ye tine vour dam : 
— Freedom and whisky gang thegither ! — 
Tak afF your dram ! 


■ ' A robe of seeming truth and trust 
Hid crafty Observation ; 
And secret hung, with poison'd crust, 

Tiie dirk of Defamation : 
A mask that like the gorget show'd 

Dye-varying on tlie pigeon ; 
And for a mantle large and broad, 
He wrapt him in Religion.' 

HvPOCRisv a la mode. 


1 Upon a simmer Sunday morn, 
When Nature's face is fair, 

' ' Holy Fair ' is a common phrase in the West of Scotland for a sacra- 
mental occasion. — B. 


I walked forth to view the corn, 

An' snuff tlie caller air. 
Tlie risin' sun owre Galston muirs, 

Wi' glorious light was glintin' ; 
The hares were hirplin' down the furs, 

The lav 'rocks they were chantin' 

Fu' sweet that day, 

2 As lightsomely I glowr'd abroad, 

To see a scene sae gay. 
Three hizzies, early at the road, 

Cam skelpin' up the way ; 
Twa had manteeles o' dolefu black, 

But ane wi' lyart lining ; 
The third, that gaed a wee a-back, 

Was in the fashion shining, 

Fu' gay that day. 

3 The twa appear'd like sisters twin, 

In feature, form, an' claes ; 
Their visage, wither'd, lang, an' thin, 

An' sour as ony slaes : 
The third cam up, hap-step-an'-lowp, 

As light as ony lambie, 
An' wi' a curchie low did stoop. 

As soon as e'er she saw me, 

Fu' kind that day. 

4 Wi' bonnet aff, quoth I, ' Sweet lass, 

I think you seem to ken me ; 
I 'm sure I 've seen that bonnie face, 

But yet I canna name ye.' 
Quo' she, an' laughin' as she spak, 

An' taks me by the hands. 

22 burns' poems. 

* Ye, for mj sake, hae gi'eu the feck 
Of a' the ten commaiids 

A screed some day. 

5 * My name is Fun — your cronic dear, 

Tlie nearest friend ye hae ; 
An' this is Superstition here, 

An' that's Hypocrisy. 
I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy Fair, 

To spend an hour in daffin' : 
Gin ye '11 go there, yon runkled pair, 

We will get famous laughin' 

At them this day. 

6 Quoth I, 'With a' my heart, I'll do't; 

I '11 get my Sunday's sark on. 
An' meet you on the holy spot — 

Faith, we 'se hae fine remarkin' ! ' 
Then I gaed hame at crowdie-time, 

An' soon I made me ready ; 
For roads were clad, frae side to side, 

Wi' mony a wearie body. 

In droves that day. 

7 Here farmers gash, in ridin' graith, 

G«-ed Ijoddin by their cottars ; 
There, swankies young, in braw braid-claith 

Are springin' o'er the gutters ; 
The lasses, skelpin' barefit, thrang. 

In silks an' scarlets glitter ; 
Wi' sweet-milk cheese, in mony a whang, 

An' farls baked wi' butter, 

Fu' crump that day. 


8 "When by the plate we set our nose, 

Weel heaped up wi' ha'pence, 
A greedy glowr Black-bonnet ^ throws, 

An' we maun draw our tippence. 
Then in we go to see the show, 

On every side they 're gath'riu', 
Some carrying deals, some chairs an' stools, 

An' some are busy blethrin' 

Right loud that day. 

9 Here stands a shed to fend the showers, 

An' screen our counti-a gentry. 
There, racer Jess,^ an' twa-three , 

Are blinkin' at the entry. 
Here sits a raw of tittlin' jads, 

Wi' heaving breast and bare neck, 
An' there a batch of wabster lads, 

Blackguarding frae Kilmarnock, 

For fun this day. 

10 Here, some are thinkin' on their sins, 
An' some upo' their claes ; 
Ane curses feet that fyled his shins, 

Anither sighs and prays : 
On this hand sits a chosen swatch, 

Wi' screw'd-up, grace-proud faces ; 
On that a set o' chaps at watch, 
Thrang winkin' on the lasses 

To chairs that day. 


li happy is that man an' blest ! 
Nae wonder that it pride him ! 

' ' Black-bonnet : ' tlie eklcr at the plate.— '^ ' Racer Jess : ' a half-witted 
girl, of remarkable pedestrian powers, daughter of Poosie Nancy. 


Wha 's aiii dear lass, tliat lie likes best, 
Comes cliukin' clown beside him ! 

Wi' arm reposed on tlie cliair-back, 
He SM'eetlj does compose him; 

Which, bj degrees, slips romid her neck, 
An 's loof upon her bosom, 

Unkenn'd that day. 

12 Now a' the congregation o'er 

Is silent expectation : 
For Moodie ' speels the holy door, 

Wi' tidings o' d tion. 

Should Ilornie, as in ancient days, 

'Mang sons o' G — present him, 
The vera sight o' Moodie's face 

To 's ain bet hame had sent him 

Wi' fright that day. 

13 Hear how he clears the points o' Faith 

Wi' rattlin' an' wi' thumpin' ! 
Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath. 

He 's stampin' an' he 's jumpin' ! 
His lengtheu'd chin, his turn'd-up snout. 

His eldrich squeel and gestures. 
Oh ! how they fire the heart devout, 

Like cantharidian plasters, 

On sic a day! 

14 But hark ! the tent has changed its voice; 

There's peace an' rest nae langer: 
For a' the real judges rise, 
They canna sit for anger. 

' ' Moodie : ' minister of Riccarton, a great preacher of terror. 


Smith ^ opens out bis cauld Imraiigucs 

On practice and on morals ; 
An' afF the godly pour in thrangs, 

To gie the jars an' barrels 

A lift that da.y. 

15 What signifies his barren shine 

Of moral powers and reason 1 
His English style, an' gesture fine, 

Are a' clean out o' season. 
Like Socrates or Antonine, 

Or some auld pagan heathen, 
The moral man he does define, 

But ne'er a word o' faith in 

That 's right that day. 

16 In guid time comes an antidote 

Against sic poison'd nostrum ; 
For Peebles,^ frae the Water-fit, 

Ascends the holy rostrum : 
See, up he 's got the Word o' G — , 

An' meek an' mini has view'd it, 
While Common-Sense ^ has ta'en the road. 

An' afF, an' up the Cowgate,* 

Fast, fast, that day. 

17 Wee Miller^ neist the guard relieves, 

An' Orthodoxy raibles. 
Though in his heart he weel believes, 
An' thinks it auld wives' fables : 

' ' Smitli : ' minister of Galston. — - ' Peebles : ' minister of Newton-on-Ayr, 
called the ' Water-foot ; ' an Evangelical preacher. — -^ ' Common-Sense : ' one 
Mackenzie, doctor in tiic village, who had written on some controversial 
topic under that sobricjuet. — ■* ' Cowgate : ' a street so called which faces the 
tent in JIauchline. — B. — ^ ' Jlillcr : ' afterwards minister of Kilmaurs, a man 
of low stature, but great girth. 

26 burns' roEMS. 

But, faith ! the birkie wants a manse, 
So, cannilj lie hums them ; 

Altliou2;h his carnal wit an' sense 
Like hafiiins-wajs o'ercoracs him 

At times tliat day. 

18 Now butt an' ben, the change-house fills, 

Wi' jill-caup commentators : 
Here 's crying out for bakes and gills, 

An' there the pint-stoup clatters ; 
While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang, 

AVi' logic, an' wi' Scripture, 
They raise a din, that in the end, 

Is like to breed a rupture 

0' wrath that day. 

19 Leeze me on drink ! it gies us mair 

Than either school or college : 
It kindles wit, it waukens lair, 

It pangs us fou o' knowledge. 
Be 't whisky gill, or penny wheep, 

Or ony stronger potion, 
It never fails, on drinking deep. 

To kittle up our notion 

By night or day. 

20 The lads an' lasses, blithely bent 

To mind baith saul an' body. 
Sit round the table, weel content, 

An' steer about the toddy. 
On this ane's dress, an' that ane's leuk. 

They 're making observations ; 
While some are cozy i' the neuk, 

An' formiu' assignations 

To meet some day. 


21 But now tlie L — 's ain trumpet touts, 

Till a' the hills are rairin', 
An' echoes back return the shouts — 

Black Russell ^ is na sparin' : 
His piercing words, like Highland swords. 

Divide the joints an' marrow ; 
His talk o' hell, where devils dwell, 

Our vera sauls does harrow^ 

Wi' fright that day. 

22 A vast, imbottom'd, boundless pit, 

Fill'd fou o' lowin' brunstane, 
Wha's ragin' flame, an' scorchin' heat, 

AVad melt the hardest wdiun-stane ! 
The half-asleep start up wi' fear, 

An' think they hear it roarin', 
When presently it does appear 

'Twas but some neebour snorin' 

Asleep that day. 

23 'Twad be owre lang a tale to tell 

How mony stories past. 
An' how^ they crowded to the yill, 

When they were a' dismist • 
How drink gaed round, in cogs an' caups, 

Amang the furms and benches : 
An' cheese an' bread, frae women's laps, 

Was dealt about in lunches, 

An' dauds that day. 

24 In comes a gaucie, gash guidwife. 

An' sits down by the fire, 

' ' Black Russell : ' afterwards of Stirling. His son, who, like the father, 
was an cxeellent man, was minister of Mutliil, Perthsliire. — ^ ' Sauls does 
liarrow : ' Sliakspcarc's ' Hamlet.' — B. 


Sjno draws her kebbuck an' licr knife ; 

Tlic lasses tliej are shyer. 
The aiild guidmcn, about tlie grace, 

Frae side to side tliey bother, 
Till some ane bye his bonnet lays, 

An' gi'es them 't hke a tether, 

Fii' lang tliat day. 

25 Waesucks ! for him that gets nae lass, 

Or lasses that hae naething ! 
Sma' need has he to say a grace. 

Or melvie his braw claithing ! 
wives, be mindfii' ance yoursel' 

How bonnie lads ye wanted. 
An' diuna, for a kebbuck-heel, 

Let lasses be affronted 

On sic a day ! 

26 Now Clinkiimbell, wi' rattlin' tow. 

Begins to jow an' croon ; 
Some swagger hame, the best they dow. 

Some wait the afternoon. 
At slaps the billies halt a blink. 

Till lasses strip their shoon : 
Wi' faith an' hope, an' love an' drink, 

They 're a' in famous tune, 

For crack that day. 

27 IIow mony hearts this day converts 

0' sinners and o' lasses! 
Their hearts o' stane, gin night, are gane 

As saft as ony flesh is. 
There 's some are fou o' love divine ; 

There 's some are fou o' brandy ; 


An' monj jobs that day begin, 
May end in houghraagandie 

Some ither day. 



1 Some books are lies frae end to end, 
And some great lies were never penn'd : 
Ev'n ministers, they hae been kenn'd, 

In holy rapture, 
A rousing whid,^ at times, to vend, 

And nail't wi' Scripture. 

2 But this that I am gaun to tell, 
Which lately on a night befell, 

Is just as true 's the deil 's in hell, 

Or Dublin city : 

That e'er he nearer comes oursel' 

'S a muckle pity. 

3 The clachan yill had made me cauty — 
I was na fou, but just had plenty ; 

I stacher'd whyles, but yet took tent aye 

To free the ditches ; 

An' hillocks, stanes, and bushes kenn'd aye 

Frae ghaists an' witches. 

4 The rising moon began to glowr 
The distant Cumnock hills outowre : 

' ' A rousing wliid : ' in Second Edition — 
' Great lies and nonsense baith to vend.' 

30 burns' roEMS. 

To count her horns, vfi a' my power, 

I set myscl' ; 
But wliether she had three or four, 

I could na tell. 

5 I was come round about the hill, 
And todlin' down on AVillie's mill,' 
Setting my staff \vi' a' my skill, 

To keep me sicker ; 
Though leeward whylcs, against my will, 

I took a bicker. 

6" I there wi' Something did forgather, 
That put me in an eerie s wither ; 
An awfu' scythe, outowre ae shouther, 

Clear-dangling, hang ; 
A three-taed leister, on the ither 

Lay, large an' lang. 

7 Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa. 
The queerest shape that e'er I saw, 
For fient a wame it had ava ; 

And then, its shanks. 
They were as thin, an' sharp, an' sma'. 

As cheeks o' branks. 

8 ' Guid-e'cn', quo' I ; ' Fi'iend, hae ye been mawin', 
When ither folk are busy sawin' V^ 

It seem'd to mak a kind o' stan', 

But nae thing spak ; 

x\t length, says I, ' Friend, whare ye gaun 1 — • 

Will ye go back "i ' 

I ( 

■ Willie's mill : ' a mill uear Mauchline, on the river Faile, occupied by 
William Muir, a crony of Burns.— '^ ' Busy sawiu' : ' this rencounter happened 
in seed-time, 1785. — B. 


9 It spak right howe — ' Mj name is Death, 
But be ua flej'd.' Quoth I, ' Guid faith. 
Ye 're maybe come to stap mj breath ; 

But tent me, billie — 
I red je weel, tak care o' skaith, 

See, there 's a gully/ 

1 ' Guidman,' quo' he, ' put up your \Yhittle, 
I 'm no design'd to try its mettle ; 

But if I did, I wad be kittle 

To be mislear'd, 
I wad na mind it, no that spittle 

Outowre my beard/ 

1 1 ' Weel, weel,' says I, ' a bargain be 't ; 
Come, gie 's your hand, an' sae we 're gree 't ; 
We '11 ease our shanks an' tak a seat — 

Come, gie 's your news ; 
This while ^ ye hae been mony a gate, 

At mony a house/ 

12 ' Ay, ay !' quo' he, an' shook his head, 
' It 's e'en a lang, lang time indeed 
Sin' I began to nick the thread. 

An' choke the breath : 
Folk maun do something for their bread, 

An' sae maun Death, 

13 ' Sax thousand years are near hand fled, 
Sin' I was to the hutching bred, 

' Tiiis while : ' an cijidemical fever was then raging in that county. — B. 

32 burns' poems. 

An' mony a scheme in vain '& been laid, 

To stap or scaur me ; 

Till ane Hornbook^ 's ta'en up the trade, 

An' faith, he '11 waur me. 

14 ' Ye ken Jock Hornbook^ i' the clachan, 
Deil niak his king's-hood in a splcuchan ! 
lie's grown sae weel acquant wi' Buchan^ 

An' ither chaps, 
The weans hand out their fin2;ers lau^jhin' 

And pouk my hips. 

15 ' See, here 's a scythe, and there 's a dart, 
They hae pierced mony a gallant heart ; 
But Doctor Hornbook, wi' his art 

And cursed skill, 

Has made them baith no worth a ; 

D haet they '11 kill 

16 ' 'Twas but yestreen, nae farther gaen, 
I threw a noble throw at ane ; 

Wi' less, I 'm sure, I 've hundreds slain ; 

But deil-ma-care. 
It just play'd dirl on the bane. 

But did nae mair. 

17 * Hornbook was by, wi' ready art, 
And had sae fortified the part, 

1 Hornbook : ' this gentleman, Dr Hornbook, is professionally a brother of 
the Soveriegn Order of the Ferula ; but, by intuition and inspiration, is at once 
an apothecary, surgeon, and piiysician. — B. — - 'Jock Hornbook:' John 
Wilson, a grocer, schoolmaster, and would-be apothecary in Tarboltou, after- 
wards a respectable merchant in Glasgow. — ^ ' Buchan : ' Buciian's ' Domestic 
Medicine.'— -B. 


That when I looked to mj dart, 

It was sae blunt, 
Fient haet o 't wad hae pierced the heart 

0' a kail-runt. 

1 S ' I drew my scythe in sic a fury, 
I nearhand cowpit wi' my hurry, 
But yet the bauld apothecary 

Withstood the shock ; 
I might as weel hae tried a quarry 

0' hard whin rock. 

1 9 ' Ev'n them he canna get attended, 
Although their face he ne'er had kenn'd it, 
Just in a kail-blade, and send it, 

As soon he smells't, 
Baith their disease, and what will mend it, 

At once he tells 't. 

20 ' And then a' doctor's saws and whittles, 
Of a' dimensions, shapes, an' mettles, 

A' kinds o' boxes, mugs, an' bottles. 

He 's sure to hae ; 

Their Latin names as fast he rattles 

As A, B, C. 

21 ' Calces o' fossils, earths, and trees ; 
True sal-marinum o' the seas ; 
The farina of beans and peaso. 

He has 't in plenty ; 
Aqua-fontis, what you please. 

He can content ye. 

22 ' Forbye some new, uncommou weapons, 
Urinus spiritus of capons ; 



Or niitc-boni shavings, filings, scrapings, 

Distill'd per se ; 

Sal-alkali o' midge-tail clippings, 

And mony mac' 

23 * Waes mc for Jolmn j Gcd's hole ' now,' 
Quo' I ; ' if that the news be true, 

His bra^y calf-ward whare gowans grew, 

Sae white and bonnie, 

Nae doubt they '11 rive it wi' the pleugh ; 

They '11 ruin Johnny ! ' 

24 The creature grinn'd an eldritch laugh, 
And says, ' Ye need na yoke the pleugh, 
Kirkyards will soon be till'd eueugh, 

Tak ye nae fear : 
They '11 a' be trench'd wi' mony a sheugh 

In twa-three year. 

25 ' Whare I kilFd ane a fair strae death, 
By loss o' blood or want o' breath, 
This night I 'm free to tak my aith. 

That Hornbook's skill 
Has clad a score i' their last claith. 

By drap an' pill. 

26 ' An honest wabster to his trade, 

Whase wife's twa nieyes were scarce weel-brcd, 
Gat tippence-worth to mend her head. 

When it was sair ; 
The wife slade cannie to her bed, 

But ne'er spak mair. 

I ( 

Johnny Gcd's hole : ' the grave-digger. — B. 


27 ' A coimtra laird had ta'en the batts, 
Or some curmurring in his guts ; 
His onlj son for Hornbook sets, 

An' pays him well— 
The lad, for twa giiid gimmer pets, 

Was laird himsel'. 

28 * A bonnie lass, je kenn'd her name. 
Some ill-brewn drink had hoved her warae ; 
She trusts herseF, to hide the shame. 

In Hornbook's care ; 
Horn sent her aff to her lang hame, 

To hide it there. 

29 ' That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way ; 
Thus goes he on from day to day. 

Thus does he poison, kill, an' slay. 

An 's weel paid for 't ; 

Yet stops me o' my lawfu' prey, 

Wi' his d dirt : 

30 ' But, hark ! I '11 tell you of a plot, 
Thougli dinna ye be speaking o 't ; 
I '11 nail the self-conceited sot, 

As dead 's a herrin' : 
Neist time we meet, I '11 wad a groat, 

He gets his fairin' ! ' 

31 But just as he began to tell, 

The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell 
Some wee short hour ayont the twal. 

Which raised us bailli : 
T took the way that jjleased m3'scr. 

And sae did Death. 

36 burns' poems. 



The simple Bard, rough at the rustic plough. 

Learning his tuneful trade from every bough ; 

The chanting linnet, or the mellow thrush, 

Hailing the setting sun, sweet, in the green thorn bush ; 

The soaring lark, the perching red-breast shrill. 

Or deep-toned plovers, gray, wild-whistling o'er the hill ; 

Shall he, nurst in the peasant's lowly shed, 

To hardy independence bravely bred. 

By early poverty to hardship steel'd, 

And train'd to arms in stern misfortune's field — lo 

Shall he be guilty of their hireling crimes. 

The servile, mercenary Swiss of rhymes 1 

Or labour hard the panegyric close, 

With all the venal soul of dedicating prose ? 

No ! though his artless strains he rudely sings. 

And throws his hand uncouthly o'er the strings, 

He glows with all the spirit of the Bard, 

Fame, honest fame, his great, his dear reward ! 

Still, if some patron's generous care he trace, 

Skill'd in the secret to bestow with grace ; 20 

When Ballantyne befriends his humble name, 

And hands the rustic stranger up to fame. 

With heartfelt throes his grateful bosom swells, 

The godlike bliss, to give, alone excels. 

'Twas when the stacks get on their winter hap. 
And thack and rape secure the toil-won crap ; 

' ' Ballantyne : ' an early friend and patron of Burns. 


Potatoe-bings are snugged up frae skaitli 27 

Of coming Winter's biting, frosty breath ; 

The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer toils, 

Unnumber'd buds and flowers' delicious spoils, 

Seal'd up with frugal care in massive waxen piles, 

Are doom'd bj man, that tj^rant o'er the weak, 

The death 0' devils, smoor'd wi' brimstone reek : 

The thundering guns are heard on every side, 

The wounded coveys, reehng, scatter wide ; 

The feather'd field-mates, bound by Nature's tie, 

Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie : 

(What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds. 

And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds 1) 

Nae mair the flower in field or meadow springs : 40 

Nae mair the grove with airy concert rings, 

Except, perhaps, the robin's whistling glee. 

Proud 0' the height 0' some bit half-lang tree : 

The hoary morns precede the sunny days. 

Mild, calm, serene, wide spreads the noontide blaze. 

While thick the gossamer waves wanton in the rays. 

'Twas in that season, when a simple Bard, 

Unknown and poor, simplicity's reward, 

Ae night, within the ancient brugh of Ayr, 

By whim inspired, or haply press'd wd' care, 50 

lie left his bed, and took his wayward route, 

And down by Simpson's ^ wheel'd the left about : 

(Whether impell'd by all-directing Fate, 

To witness what I after shall narrate ; 

Or whether, wrapt in meditation high, 

He w^ander'd out he knew not where, nor why) 

The drowsy Dungeon-clock ^ had number'd two, 

And Wallace-tower ^ had sworn the fact was true : 

' ' Simpson's : ' a noted tavern at tlie Auld Brig end. — B. — * ' Dungeon- 
clock and Wallace-tower : ' the two steeples. — H. 

-1. b 4 i y) 


The tide-swoH'n Firtb, witli siillcu sounding roar, 59 

Through the still night dash'd hoarse along the shore ; 
All else was liush'd as Nature's closed e'e ; 
The silent moon shone hio;h o'er tower and tree : 
The chilly frost, beneath the silver beam, 
Crept, geutlj-crusting, o'er the glittering stream. 
When, lo! on either hand the listening Bard, 
The clanging sugh of whistling wings is heard ; 
Two dusky forms dart through the midnight air, 
Swift as the 2:0s ^ drives on the wheeling hare : 
Ane on th' Auld Brig his airy shape uprears, 
The ither flutters o'er the rising piers : 70 

Our warlock Rhymer instantly descried 
The Sprites that owre the Brigs of Ayr preside. 
(That Bards are second-sighted is nae joke, 
And ken the lingo of the sp'ritual folk ; 
Fays, Spunkies, Kelpies, a', they can explain them, 
And even the vera Deils they brawly ken them.) 
Auld Brig appear'd of ancient Pictish race. 
The very wrinkles Gothic in his face : 
He seem'd as he wi' Time had warstled lang, 
Yet, teughly doure, he bade an unco bang. so 

New Brig was buskit in a braw new coat, 
That he, at Lon'on, frae ane Adams, got ; 
In 's hand five taper staves as smooth 's a bead, 
Wi' virls and whirlygigums at the head. 
The Goth was stalking round Avith anxious search, 
Spying the time-worn flaws in every arch ; 
It chanced his iiCAv-come neebour took his e'e, 
And e'en a vex'd and angry heart had he 1 
Wi' thieveless sneer to see his modish mien, 
He down the water gies him this guide'en : — 90 

' ' Gos : ' the gos-hawk, or Mcon. — B. 



I doubt na', frien', je '11 think ye 're nae sheepshank, 91 

Ance je Avere streekit o'er frae bank to bank ! 

But gin ye be a brig as aulcl as me — 

Though, faith ! that day I doubt ye '11 never see — 

There '11 be, if that date come, I '11 wad a bodle, 

Some fewer whigmaleeries in your noddle. 


Auld Vandal, ye but show your little mense, 

Just much about it wi' your scanty sense ; 

Will your poor narrow footpath of a street — 

Where twa wheelbarrows tremble when they meet — 100 

Your ruin'd, formless bulk 0' stane ^an' lime. 

Compare wi' bonnie brigs 0' modern time ? 

There 's men 0' taste would tak the Ducat-stream ^ 

Though they should cast the very sark and swim, 

Ere they would grate their feelings wi' the view 

Of sic an ugly Gothic hulk as you. 


Conceited gowk ! puflp'd up wi' windy pride ! 

This mony a year I 've stood the flood an' tide ; 

And though wi' crazy eild I 'm sair forfairn, 

I '11 be a brig when ye 're a shapeless cairn ! 110 

As yet ye little ken about the matter, 

But twa-three winters will inform ye better. 

When heavy, dark, continued, a'-day rains 

Wi' deepening deluges o'erflow the plains ; 

When from the hills where springs the brawling Coil, 

Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil, 

Ducat-strcam : ' a noted ford, just above the Auld Brig.— L', 

1 ( 

40 burns' poems. 

Or where tlie Greenock winds his moorhmd course, 117 
Or haunted Garpal ^ draws his feeble source, 
Aroused by blustering winds and spotting thowes. 
In mony a torrent down his sna'-broo rowes ; 
While crashing ice, borne on the roaring speat, 
Sweeps dams, an' mills, an' brigs a' to the gate ; 
And from Glenbuck,^ down to the Ratton-key,^ 
Aiild Ayr is just one lengthen'd, tumbling sea — 
Then down ye '11 hurl, deil nor ye never rise ! 
And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring skies ; 
A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost, 
That Architecture's noble art is lost ! 


Fine Architecture, troth, I needs must say 't 't ! 

The L — be thankit that we 'mo tint the gate o't! 130 

Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices. 

Hanging with threat'ning jut, like precipices ; 

O'erarching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring coves, 

Supporting roofs fantastic, stony groves : 

Windows and doors, in nameless sculpture dress'd, 

With order, symmetry, or taste unbless'd ; 

Forms like some bedlam statuary's dream, 

The crazed creations of misguided whim ; 

Forms might be worshipp'd on the bended knee. 

And still the second dread command be free, i40 

Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, or sea. 

Mansions that would disgrace the building taste 

Of any mason reptile, bird, or beast ; 

* ' Garpal : ' the banks of Garpal Water is one of the few places in the West 
of Scotland where those fancy-scaring beings, known by the name of Ghaists, 
still continue pertinaciously to inhabit. — B. — ^ ' Glenbuck : ' the source of the 
river Ayr. — B. — ^ ' Katton-key : ' a small landing-place above the large 


Fit only for a doited monkish race, 144 

Or frostj maids forsworn the dear embrace ; 

Or ciiifs of latter times, wha held the notion 

That sullen gloom was sterling, true devotion; 

Fancies that our guid brugh denies protection. 

And soon maj they expire, unblest with resurrection ! 


je, mj dear remeraber'd ancient jealings, iso 

Were je but here to share my wounded feelings ! 

Ye worthy Proveses, an' mony a Bailie, 

Wha in the paths 0' righteousness did toil aye ; 

Ye dainty Deacons, an' ye douce Conveners, 

To whom our moderns are but causey-cleaners; 

Ye godly Councils, wha hae blest this town ; 

Ye godly brethren of the sacred gown, 

Wha meekly gie your hurdles to the smitcrs ; 

And (what would now be strange) ye godly writers: 

A' ye douce folk I 've born aboon the broo, 160 

Were ye but here, what would ye say or do 1 

How would your spirits groan in deep vexation, 

To see each melancholy alteration; 

And agonising, curse the time and place 

When ye begat the base, degenerate race ! 

Nae langer reverend men, their country's glory, 

In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid story ; 

Nae langer thrifty citizens, an' douce. 

Meet owre a pint, or in the council-house; 

But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless gentry, no 

The herryment and ruin of the country ; 

Men, three-parts made by tailors and by barbers, 

Wha waste your well-hain'd gear on d new brigs 

and harbours ! 

42 burns' poems. 


Now hand joii there ! for, faith ! ye've said enough, 174 

And niiickle inair than ye can mak to througli ; 

As for your Priesthood, I shall say but little, 

Corbies and Clergy are a sliot right kittle : 

But, under favour 0' your langer beard. 

Abuse 0' Magistrates might weel be s[)ared : 

To liken them to your auld-warld squad, 180 

I must needs say, comparisons are odd. 

In Ayr, wag-wits uae mair can hac a handle 

To mouth ' a citizen,' a term 0' scandal ; 

Nae mair the council waddles down the street, 

In all the pomp of ignorant conceit; 

Men wha grew wise priggin' owre hops an' raisins. 

Or gather'd liberal views in bonds and seisins. 

If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp. 

Had shored them with a glimmer of his lamp, 

And would to Common-sense for once betray 'd them, i9o 

Plain, dull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid them. 

What further clishmaclaver might been said. 
What bloody wars, if Sprites had blood to shed, 
No man can tell : but all before their sight, 
A fairy train appear'd in order bright; 
Adown the glittering stream they featly danced; 
Bright to the moon their various dresses glanced : 
They footed o'er the watery glass so neat, 
The infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet : 
While arts of minstrelsy among them rung, 200 

And soul-ennobling bards heroic ditties sung. 
Oh had M'Lauchlan,^ thairm-inspiring sage, 

* ' M'Lauchlan : ' a well-known performer of Scotch music on the violin. — B. 
He was from Argyleshirc, and patronised h\ the Earl of Eglinton, himself a 
great musician, and alluded to in the next stanza as ' Courage.' 


Been there to bear this heavenlj band engage, 203 

When throngh bis dear strathspeys thej bore with 

Highland rage; 
Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs, 
The lover's raptured joys or bleeding cares; 
How would his Highland lug been nobler fired. 
And even his matchless hand with finer touch inspired ! 
No guess could tell what instrument appear'd. 
But all the soul of Music's self was heard; 210 

Harmonious concert rung in every part, 
While simple melody pour'd moving on the heart. 

The Genius of the stream in front appears, 
A venerable chief advanced in years; 
His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd, 
His manly leg with garter tangle bound. 
Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring. 
Sweet Female Beauty hand in hand with Spring; 
Then, crown'd with flowery hay, came Rural Joy, 
And Summer, with his fervid-beaming eye : 220 

All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn, 
Led yellow Autumn wreath'd with nodding corn ; 
Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary show, 
By Hospitality with cloudless brow. 
Next follow'd Courage, with his martial stride, 
From where the Feal wild-woody coverts hide; 
Benevolence, with mild benignant air, 
A female form, came from the towers of Stair: ^ 
Learning and Worth in equal measures trode 
From simple Catrine,^ their long-loved abode: 230 

Last, white-robed Peace, crown'd with a hazel wreath, 
To rustic Agriculture did bequeath 
The broken iron instruments of death ; 
At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling wrath. 

* ' Towers of Stair : ' tlie poot alludes here to Mrs Stewart of Stair, his early 
patroness. — "^ ' Catrine : ' alluding to Dugald Stewart. 

44 burns' roEMS. 


' For sense tliey little owe to frugiil heaven — 
To please the mob they hide the little given.' 

1 Kilmarnock wabstcrs, fidge an' claw, 

An' pour your crccshie nations ; 
An' ye wlia leather rax an' dra\y, 

0' a' denominations, 
Swith to the Laigh Kirk, ane an' a', 

An' there tak up your stations ; 
Then afF to Begbie's^ in a raw, 

An' pour diviue libations 

For joy this day. 

2 Curst Common-sense, that imp o' hell, 

Cam in wi' Mairgie Lauder ; ^ 
But Oliphant* aft made her yell, 

An' Russell^ sair misca'd her ; 
This day Mackinlay taks the flail. 

An' he 's the boy will blaud her ! 
He '11 clap a shangan on her tail, 

An' set the bairns to daud her 

Wi' dirt this day. 

3 Mak haste an' turn King David owrc, 

An' lilt wi' holy clangor ; 
0' double verse come gie us four, 
An' skirl up the ' Bangor : ' 

' ' The ordination : ' of Rev. James Mackinlay, in Kilmarnock, whose call 
and ordination gave the highfliers a great triumph. — - ' Begbie's : ' a tavern 
near the church. — ^ ' Maggie Lauder : ' alluding to a scofiiing ballad which 
was made on the admission of the late reverend and worthy Mr Lindsay to the 
Laigh Kirk. — B. His wife, Margaret Lauder, had been housekeeper to Lord 
Glencaira ; and he owed, it was said, his promotion to this. — ■• ' Oliphant : ' 
an Evangelical minister in Kilmarnock. — ' ' Russell : ' see former note. 


This day the Kirk kicks up a stoure, 
Nae mair the knaves shall Avrang her, 

For Heresy is in her power, 

And gloriously she '11 whang her 
Wi' pith this day. 

4 Come, let a proper text be read, 

Au' touch it afF wi' vigour, 
How graceless Ham^ leugli at his dad, 

Which made Canaan a nio-oer ; 
Or Phinehas^ drove the murdering blade, 

Wi' w" abhorring rigour ; 

Or Zipporah,^ the scauldin' jaud, 

Was like a bluidy tiger 

r til' inn that day. 

5 There, try his mettle on the creed, 

And bind him down wi' caution. 
That stipend is a carnal weed 

He taks but for the' fashion ; 
And gie him o'er the flock, to feed, 

And punish each transgression ; 
Especial, rams that cross the breed, 

Gie them sufficient threshin', 

Spare them nae day. 

6 Now, auld Kilmarnock, cock thy tail. 

And toss thy horns fu' canty ; 
Nae mair thou 'It rowte outoM're the dale. 

Because thy pasture 's scanty ; 
For lapfu's large o' gospel kail 

Shall fill thy crib in plenty, 

' Mlam:' Genesis ix. 22. — * 'Phinelias:' Numbers xxv. 8.—^ ' Zip- 
porah : ' Exodus iv. 25. 

46 burns' poems. 

An' ruuts o' grace the pick and wale. 
No gi'en by way o' dainty, 

But ilka day. 

7 Nac mair by Babel's streams we '11 weep, 

To think upon our Zion ; 
And hing our fiddles up to sleep, 

Like baby -clouts a-dryin' ; 
Come, screw the pegs wi' tunefu' cheep, 

And o'er the thairms be tryin' ; 
Oh, rare to see our elbucks wlieep. 

An' a' like lamb-tails flyin' 

Fu' fast this day ! 

8 Lang, Patronage, wi' rod o' airn, 

Has shored the Kirk's undoin', 
As lately Fenwick,^ sair forfairu, 

Has proven to its ruin : 
Our patron, honest man ! Glen cairn, 

He saw mischief was brewin'; 
And like a godly elect bairn 

He 's waled us out a true ane, 

And sound this day. 

9 Now, Robertson,^ harangue nae mair, 

But steek your gab for ever : 
Or try the wicked town of Ayr, 

For there they '11 think you clever ; 
Or, nae reflection on your lear. 

Ye may commence a shaver ; 
Or to the Netherton ^ repair, 

And turn a carpet-weaver 

Aff-hand this day. 

' ' Fenwick : ' one Boyd was forced upon the parish of Fenwick in 1782. — 
* ' Robertson : ' the colleague of Mackinlay, a moderate. — ^ ' Netherton : ' a 
part of Kilmarnock full of weavers. 


10 Mutrie^ aud jou were just a matcli, 

We never had sic twa drones : 
Aiild Hornie did the Laigh Kirk watch, 

Just like a winldu' baudrons : 
And aje he catch'd the tither wretch, 

To frj them in his caudrous: 
But now his honour maun detach, 

Wi' a' his brimstone squadrons, 

Fast, fast this day. 

1 1 See, see auld Orthodoxy's faes 

She 's swingein' through the citj ; 
Hark, how the nine-tail'd cat she pkys ! 

I vow it 's unco pretty : 
There, Learning, with his Greekish face. 

Grunts out some Latin ditty ; 
And Common Sense is gaun, she says. 

To mak to Jamie Beattie ^ 

Her phiint this day. 

12 But there 's Morality himseF 

Embracing all opinions ; 
Hear, how he gies the tither yell, 

Between his twa companions; 
See, how she peels the skin an' fell. 

As ane were peehn' onions ! 
Now there — they 're packed afF to hell. 

And banish'd our dominions. 

Henceforth this day. 

13 happy day ! rejoice, rejoice ! 

Come bouse about the porter ! 
Morality's demure decoys 

Shall here nae mair find quarter : 

^ ' Mutrie : ' Mackinlay's predecessor.—* ' James Bcattio : ' tlic author of 
the ' Essay on Truth,' and the ' Minstrel.' 

48 burns' poems. 

Mackinlay, Russell, arc tlie boys, 

Tliat Heresy can torture : 
They '11 gie her on a rape a hoyse, 

And cowe her measure sliorter 

By the head some day. 

14 Come, bring the tither mutclikin in. 
And here 's for a conclusion, 
To every New Light ' mother's son, 
From this time forth, Confusion : 
If mair they deave us with their din, 

Or Patronage intrusion, 
We '11 light a spunk, and every skin, 
We '11 rin them aff in fusion. 

Like oil, some day. 



On Iiis Text, Malachi iv. 2 — ' And tlie}- shall go forth, and grow up, like 

calves of the stall.' 

1 Right, Sir ! your text I '11 prove it true, 

Thougli heretics may laugh ; 
For instance, there's yoursel' just now, 
God knows, an unco calf! 

2 And should some patron be so kind, 

As bless you wi' a kirk, 

^ ' New Light : ' is a cant phrase in the West of Scotland for tliose religious 
opinions whicli Dr Taylor of Norwich has defended so strenuously. — B. — 
* ' Rev. Mr James Steven : ' minister, afterwards, of Kilwinning, Ayrshire. 
These verses were written for a wager with Gavin Hamilton. 


I doubt na, Sir, but then we '11 find. 
Ye 're still as great a stirk. 

3 But, if the lover's raptured hour 

Shall ever be your lot, 
Forbid it, every heavenly power, 
You e'er should be a stot ! 

4 Though, when some kind, connubial dear. 

Your but-and-ben adorns, 
The like has been that you may wear 
A noble head of horns. 

5 And in your lug, most reverend James, 

To hear you roar and rowte, 
Few men o' sense will doubt your claims 
To rank amang the nowte. 

6 And when ye 're number'd wi' the dead, 

Below a grassy hillock, 
Wi' justice they may mark your head — 
' Here lies a famous bullock ! ' 


' Prince ! cliief of many throned powers ! 
That led th' embattled seraphim to war.' 


1 THOU ! whatever title suit thee, 
Auld Ilornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie, 
AVha in yon cavern grim an' sootie. 

Closed under hatches, 
Spairgcs about the brunstane cootie, 

To scaud poor wretches! 


50 BUltNS' POEMS, 

2 Hear me, auld Hankie, for a wee. 
An' let poor d bodies be ; 

I 'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie, 

E'en to a deil, 

To skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me, 

An' hear us squecl ! 

3 Great is thy power, and great thy fame ; 
Far kenn'd and noted is thy name ; 

An' though yon lowin' heugh 's thy hame, 

Thou travels far; 

An', faith! thou's neither lag nor lame, 

Nor blate nor scaur. 

4 Whyles, ranging like a roariu' lion, 
For prey a' holes an' corners try in'; 
Whyles on the strong-winged tempest flyin', 

Tirlin' the kirks ; 
Whyles in the human bosom pry in'. 

Unseen tliou lurks. 

5 I 've heard my reverend grannie say, 
In lanely glens ye like to stray ; 

Or where auld ruin'd castles, gray, 

Nod to the moon, 

Ye fright the nightly wanderer's way, 

Wi' eldritch croon. 

6 When twilight did my grannie summon, 
To say her prayers, douce, honest woman! 
Aft yont the dyke she 's heard you bummin', 

Wi' eerie drone; 
Or, rustliu', through the boortries comin'. 

AVi' heavy groan. 


7 Ae dreary, windj -winter night. 

The stars shot down wi' sklentin' light, 
Wi' jou, mysel', I gat a fright, 

Ajont the lough; 
Ye, like a rash-bush stood in sight. 

Wi' waving sough. 

8 The cudgel in my nieve did shake, 
Each bristled hair stood like a stake, 
When wi' an eldritch stour, quaick — quaick- 

Amang the springs, 
Awa' ye squatter 'd, like a drake. 

On whistling wings. 

9 Let warlocks grim, an' wither'd hags. 
Tell how wi' you, on ragweed nags, 
They skim the muirs and dizzy crags, 

Wi' wicked speed; 
And in kirkyards renew their leagues, 

Owre howkit dead. 

10 Thence countra wives, wi' toil an' pain, 
May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain ; 
For, oh! the yellow treasure's taen 

By witching skill; 
And dawtit, twal-pint hawkie's gaen 

As yeld 's the bill. 

1 1 Tlience mystic knots mak great abuse. 
On young guidmen, fond, keen, an' crcuse 
When the best wark-lume i' the house, 

By cantrip wit. 
Is instant made no worth a louse. 

Just at the bit. 

52 burns' poems. 

12 "When thowes dissolve the snawy lioord, 
And float the jinolin' icy-boord, 

Then water-kelpies haunt the foord, 

By your direction, 

And 'niiihtcd traycllcrs are allured 

To their destruction. 

13 An' aft your moss-traversing spunkies 
Decoy the wight that late an' drunk is: 
The bleezin', cursed mischievous monkeys 

Delude his eyes, 
Till in some miry slough he sunk is, 

Ne'er mair to rise. 

14 When masons' mystic word an' grip, 
In storms an' tempests raise you up. 
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop. 

Or, strange to tell! 
The youngest brother ye wad whip 

AfF strauirht to hell ! 


15 Lang syne, in Eden's bonnie yard, 
When youthfu' lovers first were pair'd. 
And all the soul of love they shared. 

The raptured hour. 
Sweet on the fragrant, flowery swaird, 

In shady bower: 

16 Then you, ye auld sneck-drawing dog! 
Ye came to Paradise incog., 

An' play'd on man a cursed brogue, 

(Black be your fa !) 

And gied the infant warld a shog, 

'Maist ruin'd a'. 


17 D'je mind that daj, wheu in a bizz, 
Wi' reekit duds an' reestit gizz, 

Ye did present jour smootie phiz 

'Mang better folk, 

An' sklented on the man of Uz 

Your spitefu joke ? 

18 And how ye gat him i' jour thrall, 
And brak him out o' house an' hall, 
While scabs an' biotclies did him gall, 

Wi' bitter claw, 
And lowsed his ill tongued, wicked scawl, 

Was warst ava"? 

19 But a' jour doings to rehearse, 
Your wilj snares an' fechtin' fierce, 
Sin' that daj Michael ^ did jou pierce, 

Down to this time, 
Wad ding a Lallan tongue, or Erse, 

In prose or rhjme. 

20 And now, auld Cloots, I ken je're thinkin', 
A certain Bardie 's ran tin', drinkin', 
Some luckless hour will send him linkin', 

To jour black pit ; 
But, faith! he'll turn a corner jiukin'. 

An' cheat jou jet. 

21 But, fare jou weel, auld Nickie-ben! 

wad je tak a thought and men'! 
Ye aibhus might — I dinna ken — 

Still liae a stake — 

1 'm wae to think upo' jon den, 

E'en for jour sake! 

' ' Michael : ' Vide Milton, book vi.— i>. 

54 burns' poems. 



THE author's only PET YOWE : 

As Mailie and her lambs thcgitlier, 

Were ae day nibbling on the tether, 

Upon her cloot she coost a hitch, 

And owre she warsled in the ditch : 

There, groaning, dying, she did lie, 

When Huglioc^ he cam doytin' by. 

Wi' glowrin' e'en, and lifted ban's, 

Poor Hughoc like a statue stan's ; 

He saw her days were near-hand ended, 

But, waes my heart ! he couldna mend it ! lo 

He gaped wide, but naething spak ; 

At length poor Mailie silence brak : 

* thou, whase lamentable face 
Appears to mourn my woefu' case, 
My dying words attentive hear, 
An' bear them to my master dear. 

' Tell him, if e'er again he keep 
As muckle gear as buy a sheep, 
Oh, bid him never tie them mair 
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair ! 20 

But ca' them out to park or hill. 
And let them wander at their will ; 
So may his flock increase, and grow 
To scores 0' lambs, an' packs 0' woo' ! 

' Tell him, he was a master kin', 
And aye was guid to me and mine ; 

' ' Hughoc : ' a neighbour herd-callan. — B. 


And now raj dying charge I gie him — 27 

My helpless lambs I trust them wi' him. I 

' Oh, bid him save their harmless lives, 
Frae dogs, an' tods, an' butchers' knives ! 
But gie them guid cow-milk their fill, 
Till they be fit to fend themsel'; 
And tent them duly, e'en an' morn, 
Wi' teats 0' hay, an' ripps 0' corn. 

' And may they never learn the gates 
Of other vile, wanrestfu' pets ! 
To slink through slaps, and reave an' steal, 
At stacks 0' pease, or stocks o' kail. 
So may they, like their great forbears, 
For mony a year come through the sheers : 40 
So wives will gie them bits 0' bread, 
An' bairns greet for them when they 're dead. 

' My poor toop-lamb, my son an' heir. 
Oh, bid him breed him up wi' care ! 
And if he live to be a beast. 
To pit some havins in his breast ! 
And warn him, what I winna name, 
To stay content wi' yowes at hame ; 
And no to rin an' wear his cloots, 
Like ither menseless, graceless brutes. 5o 

' And neist my yowie, silly thing, 
Gude keep thee frae a tether string ! 

1 may thou ne'er forgather up 
Wi' ony blastit moorland toop ; 

But aye keep mind to moop an' mcll 
Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel' ! 

' And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath, 

1 lea'c my blcssin' wi' you baith : 
And when you think upo' your mithcr, 

Mind to be kin' to ane anithcr. 60 



' Now, honest Ilughoc, clinna fail 6i 

To tell my niaister a' my tale ; 
And bid him burn this cursed tether, 
And, for thy pains, thou'se get my blether.' 

This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head, 
And closed her e'en amang the dead. 

POOR mailie's elegy. 

1 Lament in rhyme, lament in prose, 

Wi' sant tears trickling do^yn your nose ; 
Our Bardie's fate is at a close. 

Past a' remead ; 
The last sad cap-stane o' his woes — 

Poor Mailie 's dead ! 

2 It 's no the loss o' warl's gear, 
That could sae bitter draw the tear, 
Or make our Bardie, dowde, wear 

The mourning weed : 
He 's lost a friend and neebour dear. 

In Mailie dead. 

3 Through a' the toun she trotted by him ; 
A long half-mile she could descry him ; 
Wi' kindly bleat, when she did spy him. 

She ran wi' speed : 
A friend mair faithfu' ne'er cam nigh hiui, 

Than Mailie dead. 

4 I wat she was a sheep o' sense, 
And could behave hersel' wi' mense : 
I '11 say 't, she never brak a fence, 

Through thievish greed. 
Our Bardie, lanely, keeps the spence 

Sin' Mailie 's dead. 


5 Or, if he wanders up the howe, 
Her living image in her yowe 

Comes bleating to him, owre the knowe, 

For bits o' bread ; 

An' down the briny pearls rowe 

For Mailie dead. 

6 She was nae got o' moorland tips, 
Wi' tawted ket, an' hairy hips : 

For her forbears were brought in ships 

Frae yout the Tweed : 

A bonnier fleesh ne'er cross'd the clips 

Than Mailie dead. 

7 Wae worth the man wha first did shape 
That vile, wanchancie thing — a rape ! 
It maks guid fellows girn an' gape, 

Wi' chokin' dread ; 
And Robin's bonnet wave wi' crape. 

For Mailie dead. 

8 a' ye bards on bonnie Doon ! 

An' wha on Ayr your chanters tune ! 
Come join the melancholious croon 

0' Robin's reed ! 
His heart will never get aboon 

His Mailie dead. 

58 burns' roEMS. 


' Friendship ! mysterious cement of the soul 
Sweetener of life, and solder of society, 
I owe thee much ! ' 


1 Dear Smith, the slce'cst, paiikic tliief 
That e'er attempted stealth or rief, 
Ye surelj hae some warlock-breef 

Owre human liearts ; 
For ne'er a bosom jet was prief 

Against jour arts. 

2 For me, I swear bj sun and moon, 
And everj star that blinks aboon, 
Ye 've cost me twentj pair o' shoon, 

Just gaun to see jou : 
And everj itlier pair that 's done, 

Mair ta'en I 'm wi' jou. 

3 That auld, capricious carlin, Nature, 
To mak amends for scrinipit stature, 
She 's turn'd jou afF, a human creature 

On her first plan, 
And, in her freaks, on everj feature 

She 's wrote the Man. 

4 Just now I 've ta'en the fit o' rhjme, 
Mj barmie noddle 's working prime, 
Mj fancj jerkit up sublime 

Wi' hastj summon : 
Hae je a leisure moment's time 

To hear what 's comin' 1 

' James Smith : ' a calico-printer, who died in the West Indies. 


V^5 Some rhyme a neebour's name to lash ; 

Some rliyme (vain thought !) for needfu' casli ; 
Some rhyme to court the countra clash, 

And raise a din ; 
For me, an aim I never fash — 

I rhyme for fun. 

6 The star that rules my luckless lot. 
Has fated me the russet coat, 

And damn'd my fortune to the groat ; 

But in requit. 
Has blest me wi' a random shot 

0' countra wit. 

7 This while my notion 's ta'en a sklent. 
To try my fate in guid black prent ; 
But still the mair I 'm that way bent. 

Something cries, ' Hoolie ! 
I red you, honest man, tak tent ! 

Ye '11 shaw your folly. 

8 ' There 's ither poets, much your betters. 
Far seen in Greek, deep men o' letters, 
Hae thought they had insured their debtors 

A' future ages ; 
Now moths deform, in shapeless tatters. 

Their unknown pages.' 

9 Then fareweel hopes o' laurel-boughs, 
To garland my poetic brows ! 
Henceforth I '11 rove where busy ploughs 

Are whistling thrang, 
And teach the lancly heiglits an' howes 

My rustic sang. 

60 burns' poems. 

10 I 'II waudcr on, wi tciitless Iiecd 
How never-halting moments speed, 
Till Fate shall snap the brittle thread ; 

Then, all unknown, 
I '11 lay me with the inglorious dead, 

Forgot and gone ! 

11 But why o' death begin a tale "? 

Just now we 're living sound and hale, 
Then top and maintop crowd the sail, 

Heave care o'er side ! 
And large, before enjoj'ment's gale, 

Let 's tak the tide. 

12 This life, sae far's I understand, 
Is a' enchanted fairy-land. 
Where Pleasure is the magic wand. 

That, wielded right, 
Maks hours like minutes, hand in hand, 

Dance by fu' light. 

13 The magic wand, then, let us wield ; 
For, ance that five-an'-forty 's speel'd, 
See crazy, weary, joyless eild, 

Wi' wrinkled face, 
Comes hostin', hirplin' owre the field, 

Wi' creepin' pace, 

14 When ance life's day draws near the gloamin'. 
Then fareweel vacant careless roamin' ; 

And fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamiu'. 

And social noise ; 

And fareweel dear, deluding woman ! 

The joy of joys ! 



5 Life ! how pleasant in thj morning, 
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning ! 
Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorning, 

We frisk away, 
Like schoolboys, at the expected warning. 

To joy and play. 

^ . 16 We wander there, we wander here, 
^ We eye the rose upon the brier. 
Unmindful that the thorn is near, 

Among the leaves ; 
And though the puny wound appear. 

Short while it grieves. 


r/' 1 7 Some, lucky, find a flowery spot. 

For which they never toil'd nor swat, 
They drink the sweet and eat the fat. 

But care or pain ; 
And, haply, eye the barren hut 

With high disdain. 

y'' 1 8 With steady aim some Fortune chase ; 
Keen Hope does every sinew brace ; 
Through fair, through foul, they urge the race. 

And seize the prey : 
Then cannie, in some cozie place. 

They close the day. 

^19 And others, like your humble servan', 

Poor wiijjhts ! nae rules nor roads observin' ; 
To right or left, eternal swcrvin'. 

They zig-zag on ; 
Till curst with ao;e, obscure and starvin', 

Tliey aftcn groan. 

62 burns' poems. 

20 Alas ! what bitter toil an' straining — 
But truce with peevish, poor compLaining ! 
Is Fortune's fickle Luna waning "? 

E'en let her gang ! 
Beneath what li2;ht she has remaininir, 

Let's sing our sang. 

21 Mj pen 1 here fling to the door, 

And kneel, ' Ye Powers ! ' and warm implore, 
' Though I should wander Terra o'er, 

In all her climes. 
Grant me but this, I ask no more, 

Aye rowth o' rhymes. 

22 ' Gie dreeping roasts to countra lairds, 
Till icicles hiug frae their beards ; 
Gie fine braw claes to fine life-guards, 

And maids of honour ! 
And yill and whisky gie to cairds, 

Until they sconuer. 

«i/'28 'A title — Dempster 1 merits it; 
A garter gie to Willie Pitt ; 
Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit. 

In cent, per cent. ; 
But give me real, sterling wit, 

And I 'm content. 

24 ' While ye are pleased to keep me hale, 
I '11 sit down o'er my scanty meal, 
Be 't watcr-brose, or muslin-kail, 

Wi' cheerfu' face, 
As lang's the Muses dinna fail 

To say the grace.' 

' ' Dempster :' see a former note. 


25 An anxious e'e I never throws 
Beliint mj lug, or bj my nose ; 

I jouk beneath Misfortune's blows, 

As weel's I may ; 

Sworn foe to sorrow, care, and prose, 

I rhyme away. 

26 ye douce folk, that live by rule. 
Grave, tideless-blooded, calm and cool, 
Compared wi' you — fool ! fool ! fool ! 

How much unlike ! 
Your hearts are just a standing pool, 

Your lives, a dyke ! 

27 Nae hair-brain'd sentimental traces 
In your unletter'd, nameless faces ! 
In arioso trills and graces 

Ye never stray, 
But gravissimo, solemn basses 

Ye hum away. 

28 Ye are sae grave, nae doubt your wise ; 
Nae ferly though ye do despise 

The hairum-scairum, ram-stam boys. 

The rattlin' squad: 

I see you upward cast your eyes — 

Ye ken the road. 

j^ 29 Whilst I — but I shall baud me there — 
Wi' you I '11 scarce gang ony where — 
Then, Jamie, I shall say nae mair, 

But quat my sang, 
Content wi' you to mak a pair, 

Whare'er I gang. 



' Tliouglits, words, and deeds, tlic statute blames with reason; 
But surely dreams were ne'er indicted treason ? ' 

On reading, in the public papers, the Laureate's Ode, with the other parade of 
June 4, 178G, the author was no sooner dropped asleep, than he imagined 
himself transported to the birthday levee ; and in his dreaming fancy 
made the following Address. — B. 

1 Guid-mornin' to your Majesty ! 

May Heaven augment your blisses, 
On every nevr birthday ye see, 

A humble poet -wishes! 
My hardship here, at your levee, 

On sic a day as this is, 
Is sure an uncouth sight to see, 

Amang the birthday dresses 

Sae fine this day. 

2 I see ye 're complimented thrang. 

By mony a lord and lady, 
'God save the king!' 's a cuckoo sang 

That 's unco easy said aye ; 
The poets, too, a venal gang, 

Wi' rhymes weel-turn'd and ready, 
Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang, 

But aye unerring steady, 
On sic a day. 

3 For me, before a monarch's face. 

Even there I winna flatter; 
For neither pension, post, nor place, 
Am I your humble debtor: 

A DREAM. 65 

So, nae reflection on your grace, 

Your kingship to bespatter; 
There 's mony waur been o' the race. 

And aiblins ane been better 

Than you this day. 

4 ^Tis very true, my sovereign King, 

My skill may weel be doubted : 
But facts are chiels that winna ding, 

And downa be disputed : 
Your royal nest,^ beneath your wiug. 

Is e'en right reft an' clouted. 
And now the third part of the string, 

And less, will gang about it 
Than did ae day. 

5 Far be 't frae me that I aspire 

To blame your legislation. 
Or say ye wisdom want, or fire, 

To rule this mighty nation ! 
But, faith ! I muckle doubt, ray Sire, 

Ye Ve trusted ministration 
To chaps, wha in a barn or byre 

Wad better fiU'd their station 

Than courts yon day. 

6 And now ye 've gi'en auld Britain peace, 

Her broken shins to plaister; 
Your sair taxation does her fleece, 

Till she has scarce a tester; 
For me, thank God ! my life 's a lease, 

Nae bargain wearing faster, 

' ' Royal nest : ' alluding to the loss of America. 


Or, faitli ! I fear, tliat \vi' tlic gccse, 
I shortly boost to pasture 

I' the craft some day. 

7 I 'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt, 

When taxes he enlarges, 
(And Will's a true guid fallow's get, 

A name not Envy spairges) 
That he intends to pay your debt, 

And lessen a' your charges ; 
But, G — sake, let nae saving fit 

Abridge your bonnie barges^ 

And boats this day, 

8 Adieu, my liege ! may Freedom geek 

Beneath your high protection ; 
And may ye rax Corruption's neck. 

And gie her for dissection ! 
But since I 'm here, I '11 no neglect, 

In loyal, true affection. 
To pay your Queen, with due respect, 

My fealty and subjection 

This great birthday. 

9 Hail, Majesty Most Excellent ! 

While nobles strive to please ye, 
Will ye accept a compliment 

A simple poet gies ye ? 
Thae bonnie bairntime. Heaven has lent. 

Still higher may they heeze ye 
In bliss, till fate some day is sent, 

For ever to release ye 

Frae care that day. 

1 ( 

Barges:' alluding to a proposition, in 1786, by Captain Macbride, to 

give up G4 gnn-sliips and make othci' reductions in tlie navy, 

A DllEAM. 67 

1 For you, young potentate o' Wales, 

I tell your Highness fairly, 
Down Pleasure's stream, wi' swelling sails, 

I 'm tauld ye 're driving rarely ; 
But some day ye may gnaw your nails. 

And curse your folly sairly. 
That e'er ye brak Diana's pales, 

Or rattled dice wi' Charlie, 

By night or day. 

1 1 Yet aft a ragged cowte 's been known 

To mak a noble aiver ; 
So, ye may doucely fill a throne, 

For a' their clish-ma-claA^er : 
There, him ^ at Aijiucourt wha shone. 

Few better were or braver ; 
And yet, wi' funny, queer Sir John,^ 

He was an unco shaver, 

For mony a day. 

12 For you, right reverend Osnaburg,^ 

Nane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeter, 
Although a ribbon at your lug 

Wad been a dress completer : 
As ye disown yon paughty dog 

That bears the keys of Peter, 
Then, swith ! and get a w^ife to hug. 

Or, troth I ye '11 stain the mitre 
Some luckless day. 

13 Young royal Tarry Breeks,^ I learn, 

Ye 've lately come athwart her, — 

"Ilim:' King Henry V.— 7J. — ^'Sir Jolin : ' Sir John Falslnfl", vide 
Siiakspoarc— /i.— ' ' Osnalnirg : ' afterwards tlie Duke of York. — ■* ' Tarry 
Brecks : ' jifierwards William IV. 

68 burns' poems. 

A glorious galley,^ stem and stern, 
Weel riiig'd for Venus' barter ; 

But first liang out, that she 11 discern 
Your hymeneal charter, 

Then heave aboard your grapple airn, 
And large upo' her quarter, 

Come full that day. 

14 Ye, lastly, bonnie blossoms a', 

Ye royal lasses dainty, 
Heaven mak you guid as weel as braw, 

And gie you lads a-plenty : 
But sneer na British boys awa', 

For kings are unco scant aye ; 
And German gentles are but sma', 

They 're better just than want aye, 
On ony day. 

15 God bless you a' ! consider now, 

Ye 're unco muckle dautet ; 
But, ere the course o' life be througli, 

It may be bitter sautet ; 
And I hae seen their cogde fou. 

That yet hae tarrow 't at it ; 
But or the day was done, I trow. 

The laggcn they hae clautet 

Fu' clean that day. 

1 1 

Galley : ' alluding to the newspaper account of a certain royal sailor's 

amour. — B. 




1 The sun had closed the winter day, 
The curlers quat their roaring play, 
And huuger'd maukin ta'en her way 

To kail-yards green, 
While faithless snaws ilk step betray 

Whare she has been. 

2 The thrasher's weary flingin'-tree 
The lee-lang day had tired me; 
And whan the day had closed his e'e, 

Far i' the west, 
Ben i' the spence, right pensivelie, 

I gaed to rest. 

3 There, lanely, by the ingle-cheek 
I sat and eyed the spewing reek, 
That fiU'd wi' hoast-provoking smeek 

The auld clay biggin'; 
And heard the restless rattons squeak 

About the riggin'. 

4 All in this motty, misty clime, 

I backward mused on wasted time, 
IIow I had spent my youthfu' prime, 

And done nae thing. 
But stringin' blethers up in rhyme, 

For fools to sing. 

' ' Duan : ' a torm of Ossian's for tlic diftoiciit divisions of a digressive 
poem. See his Cath-Lodu, vol. ii. of iMTlicrsoii's translation. — Ji. 

70 burns' roEMs. 

5 Had I to guid advice but liarldt, 

I might, hy tliis, hae led a market, 
Or strutted in a bank, and clarkit 

Mj cash-account: 
While here, half-mad, lialf-fed, half-sarkit, 

Is a' the amount. 

6 I started, muttering, blockhead ! coof ! 
And heaved on high my waukit loof, 
To swear by a' you starry roof. 

Or some rash aitli, 
That I, henceforth, would be rhyme-proof 

Till my last breath — 

7 AVhen, click! the string the sneck did draw; 
And, jee ! the door gaed to the wa'; 

An' by my ingle-lowe I saw, 

Now bleezin' bright, 

A tight, outlandish hizzie, braw. 

Come full in sight, 

8 Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht; 
The infant aith, half-form'd, was crusht; 
I glowr'd as eerie 's I'd been dusht 

In some wild izleu ; 
When sweet, like modest Worth, she blusht, 

And steppit ben. 

9 Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs 
Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows; 
I took her for some Scottish Muse, 

By that same token, 
And come to stop those reckless vows, 

Wad soon been broken. 


10 A ' hair-brain'd, sentimental trace/ 
Was strongly marked in ber face ; 
A w'ildlj-wittj, rustic grace 

Shone full upon her; 
Her eye, even turn'd on empty space, 

Beam'd keen with honour. 

11 Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen, 
Till half a leg was scrim ply seen ; 
And such a leg ! my bonuie Jean 

Could only peer it ; 
Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean, 

Nane else cam near it. 

12 Her mantle large, of greenish hue, 
My gazing wonder chiefly drew ; 

Deep lights and shades, bold-mingliug, threw 

A lustre grand ; 

And seem'd, to my astonish'd view, 

A well known land. 

13 Here, rivers in the sea were lost ; 
There, mountains to the skies were tost; 
Here, tumbling billows mark'd the coast 

With surging foam ; 
There, distant shone Art's lofty boast, 

The lordly dome. 

14 Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods ; 
There, well-fed Irwine stately thuds : 

Auld hermit Ayr staw through his Avoods, 

On to the shore ; 

And many a lesser torrent scuds, 

With seemino; roar. 

72 burns' poems. 

15 Low, in a sandy valley spread, 
An ancient burgh rcar'd lier head ; 
Still, as in Scottish story read, 

She boasts a race, 
To every nobler virtue bred, 

And polish'd grace. 

16 By stately tower or palace fair, 
Or ruins pendent in the air, 

Bold stems of heroes, here and there, 

I could discern ; 

Some seem'd to muse, some seem'd to dare, 

AVith feature stern. 

17 My heart did glowing transport feel, 
To see a race ^ heroic wheel, 

And brandish round the deep-dyed steel 

In sturdy blows ; 

While back-recoiling seem'd to reel 

Their southron foes. 

18 His country's saviour,^ mark him well ! 
Bold Richardton's ^ heroic swell ; 

The chief on Sark ^ who glorious fell, 

In high command ; 

And he whom ruthless fates expel 

His native land. 

1 1 

■ A race : ' the Wallaces.— Z?.—^ ' Country's saviour : ' "William Wallace. 
_jf>._3 ' Ricliardton : ' idam AVallace, of Richardton, cousin to tlie immortal 
preserver of Scottisli independence. — jB. — " ' Sark : ' Wallace, Laird of 
Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas, Earl of Ormond, at 
the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1448. That glorious 
victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct and intrepid valour of 
the gallant Laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.— i>. 


19 There, where a sceptred Pictish shade* 
Stalk'd round his ashes lowlj laid, 

I mark'd a martial race, portraj'd 

In colours strong ; 

Bold, soldier-featured, uudismay'd 

They strode along. 

20 Through many a wild romantic grove,^ 
Near many a hermit-fancied cove, 
(Fit haunts for friendship or for love) 

In musing mood, 
An aged Judge, I saw him rove, 

Dispensing good, 

21 With deep-struck, reverential awe. 
The learned sire and son ^ I saw, 
To Nature's God and Nature's law 

They gave their lore — 
This, all its source and end to draw ; 

That, to adore. 

22 Brydone's brave ward^ I well could spy. 
Beneath old Scotia's smiling eye ; 
Who call'd on Fame, low-standing by, 

To hand him on. 
Where many a patriot name on high, 

And hero shone. 

' ' Pictisli shade : ' Coilns, king of tlic Plcts, from whom the district ol 
Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition saj's, near the family- 
gcat of the Montgomeries of Coilsfield, where his burial place is still shown. — 
B.—^ '■ Itomautic grove : ' Barskimming, the seat of the late Lord Justice 
Clerk.— 5. Sir T. Miller, afterwards President of the Court of Session.— 
' ' Learned sire and son : ' Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor, and present 
Professor Stewart —ij. — ' 'Brydone's brave ward : ' Colonel Fulhirton. — B. 
Fullarton iiad travelled with Patrick Brydone, the once celebrated traveller, as 

his ward. 


74 burns' poems. 

dtjan second. 

23 With musing-deep, astonish'd stare, 
I view'd the hcavcnly-secmiiig fair ; 
A whispering throb did witness bear 

Of kindred sweet. 
When with an elder sister's air 

She did me greet. 

24 ' All hail ! my own inspired bard ! 
In me thy native Muse regard ! 
Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard, 

Thus poorly low ! 
I come to give thee such reward 

As we bestow. 

25 ' Know, the great Genius of this land, 
Has many a light, aerial band, 
Who, all beneath his high command, 

As arts or arms they understand, 

Their labours ply. 

26 They Scotia's race among them share; 
Some fire the soldier on to dare ; 
Some rouse the patriot up to bare 

Corruption's heart : 
Some teach the bard, a darling care. 

The tuneful art. 

27 "Mong swelling floods of reeking gore, 
They, ardent, kindling spirits, pour; 
Or, 'mid the venal senate's roar, 

They, sightless, stand. 
To mend the honest patriot-lore, 

And grace the hand. 


28 ' And when the bard, or hoarj sage, 
Charm or instruct the future age, 
The J bind the ^vild poetic rage' 

In enei'gy. 
Or point the inconchisive page 

Full on the eye. 

29 ' Hence Fullarton, the brave and young; 
Hence Dempster's zeal-inspired tongue ; 
Hence sweet harmonious Beattie sung 

His ' Minstrel ' lays, 
Or tore, with noble ardour stung, 

The sceptic's bays. 

30 'To lower orders are assigu'd 
The humbler ranks of human-kind, 
The rustic bard, the labouring hind, 

The artisan; 
All choose, as various they 're inclined. 

The various man. 

3 1 ' When yellow waves the heavy grain, 
The threatening storm some strongly rein ; 
Some teach to meliorate the plain. 

With tin age-skill ; 
And some instruct the shepherd-train, 

Blithe o'er the hill. 

32 ' Some hint the lover's harmless wile ; 
Some grace the maiden's artless smile ;" 
Some soothe the labourer's weary toil 

For humble gains. 
And make his cottage-scenes beguile 

His cares and pains. 

76 BUPvNS' rOEMS. 

33 'Some, bounded to a district-space. 
Explore at large man's infant race, 
To mark the embrjotic trace 

Of rustic bard ; 
And careful note each opening grace, 

A guide and guard. 

34 'Of these am I — Coila my name; 
And this district as mine I claim, 
Where once the Campbells," chiefs of fome, 

Held ruling power : 
I mark'd thy embrjo tuneful flame, 

Thy natal hour. 

35 ' With future hope, I oft would gaze 
Fond, on thy little early ways. 
Thy rudely caroll'd, chiming phrase, 

In uncouth rhymes. 
Fired at the simple, artless lays 

Of other times. 

36 'I saw thee seek the sounding shore, 
Delighted with the dashing roar; 
Or, when the North his fleecy store 

Drove through the sky, 
I saw grim Nature's visage hoar 

Struck thy young eye. 

37 'Or when the deep green-mantled earth 
Warm cherish'd every floweret's birth. 
And joy and music pouring forth 

In every grove, 

' ' Campbells : ' the Loudoun branch of that fituiily ; Mossgeil was the Earl 
of Loudoun's property. 


I saw thee eye the general mirth 

With boundless love. 

38 ' AVhen ripen'd fields, and azure skies, 
Call'd forth the reaper's rustling noise, 
I saw thee leave their evening jojs, 

And lonely stalk, 
To vent thy bosom's swelling rise 

In pensive walk. 

39 ' When youthful love, warm-blushing, strong, 
Keen-shivering shot thy nerves along. 
Those accents, grateful to thy tongue. 

The adored Name, 
I taught thee how to pour in song. 

To soothe thy flame. 

40 ' I saw thy pulse's maddening play, 
Wild send thee Pleasure's devious way, 
Misled by Fancy's meteor ray. 

By passion driven; 
But yet the light that led astray 

Was light from Heaven. 

41 'I taught thy manners-painting strains, 
The loves, the ways of simple swains, 
Till now, o'er all my wide domains 

Thy fame extends ; 
And some, the pride of Coila's plains. 

Become thy friends. 

42 ' Thou canst not learn, nor can I show. 
To paint with Thomson's landscape glow ; 

burns' poems. 

Or wake the bosom-melting tliroe, 

AVitli Slicustone's art ; 

Or pour, with Gray, tlie moving flow 

Warm on tlic heart. 

43 ' Yet, all beneath the unrivall'd rose, 
The lowly daisy sweetly blows : 
Though lar<j;e the forest's nionarch throws 

His army shade, 
Yet green the juicy hawthorn grows, 

Adowu the glade. 

44 ' Then never murmur nor repine ; 
Strive in thy humble sphere to shine ; 
And, trust me, not Potosi's mine, 

Nor kings' regard, 
Can give a bliss o'ermatching thine, 

A rustic Bard. 

45 ' To give my counsels all in oue,— 
Thy tuneful flame still careful fan ; 
Preserve the dignity of man, 

With soul erect ; 
And trust, the Universal Plan 

Will all protect. 

46 ' And wear thou this' — she solemn said, 
And bound the holly round my head : 
The polish'd leaves, and berries red. 

Did rustling play ; 
And, like a passing thought, she fled 

In light away. 



' My son, these maxims make a rule, 
And lump them aye thegither ; 
The Rigid Rigliteouis is a fool, 

The Rigid Wise anither : 
The cleanest corn that e'er was dight 

May hae some pyles o' cafF in ; 
So ne'er a fellow-creature slight 
For random fits o' daffin.' 

Solomon.— E'ccfes. vii. 16. 

1 YE wlia are sae guid joiirser 

Sae pious and sae holy, 
Ye 've nought to do but mark and tell 

Your neebour's fauts and folly ! 
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill, 

Supplied wi' store o' water, 
The heapit happer's ebbing still, 

And still the clap plays clatter. 

2 Hear me, ye venerable core, 

As counsel for poor mortals, 
That frequent pass douce AVisdom's door 

For glaiket Folly's portals ; 
I, for their thoughtless, careless sakes, 

Would here propone defences, 
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes. 

Their failings and mischances. 

3 Ye see your state wi' theirs compared, 

And shudder at the niifer. 
But cast a moment's ftiir regard 
What maks the mighty diil'er ? 

80 burns' roEMS. 

Discount what sccaiit occasion gave 

That purity ye pride in, 
And (what 's aft niair than a' the lave) 

Your better art o' hidin'. 

4 Think, when your castigated pulse 

Gies now and then a wallop, 
What ragings must his veins convulse. 

That still eternal gallop : 
Wi' wind and tide fair i' your tail, 

Right on ye scud your sea-way ; 
But in the teeth o' baith to sail, 

It maks an unco lee-way. 

5 See Social Life and Glee sit down, 

All joyous and unthinking. 
Till, quite transmugrified, they Ve grown 

Debauchery and Drinking : 
Oh, would they stay to calculate 

The eternal consequences; 
Or, your more dreaded hell to state, 

Damnation of expenses ! 

6 Ye high, exalted, virtuous dames, 

Tied up in godly laces. 
Before ye gie poor frailty names. 

Suppose a change o' cases; 
A dear-loved lad, convenience snug, 

A treacherous inclination — 
But, let me whisper i' your lug, 

Ye 're aiblins nae temptation. 

7 Then gently scan your brother man, 

Still gentler, sister woman ; 
Though they may gang a kennin' wrang. 
To step aside is human : 

TAM SAMSON's elegy. 81 

One point must still be greatly dark, 

The moving luliy they do it : 
And just as lamely can ye mark, 

How far perhaps they rue it. 

8 Who made the heart, 'tis He alone 

Decidedly can try us, 
He knows each chord — its various tone, 

Each spring — its various bias : 
Then at the balance let's be mute, 

We never can adjust it; 
What 's done we partly may compute, 

But know not what 's resisted. 


' An lionest man's the noblest work of God.' 


1 Has auld Kilmarnock seen the Deil '? 
Or gi'eat Mackinlav ^ tlirawn his heel ? 
Or Robertson""^ again grown weel. 

To preach an' read ? 
'Na, waur than a' I' cries ilka chiel — 

' Tarn Samson 's dead !' 

' ' Tani Samson's Elegy : ' M'lien this worthy old sjuirtsman went out hist 
muirfowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, ' the last of his 
fields;' and expressed an ardent wisii to die and be buried in tlic nuiirs. On 
this hint, tiie autiior composed ids elegy and epitaph. — B. Samson was a 
nursery and seedsman, and a great sportsman. — - ' Maekiulay : ' a certain 
preacher, a great favourite witii the million. I 'ide ' The Ordination,' stanza 
ii. — B. — * ' Robertson : ' another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, 
who was at tiiat time ailing. For him see also ' The Ordination,' stanza ix. — B. 


82 burns' poems. 

2 Kilmarnock lang may grant and grane, 
And sigh, and sab, and greet her lane, 
And deed licr bairns, man, wife, an' wean. 

In monrning weed; 
To death, she's dearly paid the kane — 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

3 The brethren o' the mystic level 
May hing their head in woefu' bevel, 
AVhile by their nose the tears will revel 

Like ony bead ; 
Death's gien the lodge an mico devel — 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

4 When Winter muffles up his cloak, 
And binds the mire up like a rock ; 
When to the lochs the curlers flock, 

Wi' gleesome speed ; 
Wha will they station at the cock '? — 

Tam Samson 's dead 1 

5 He was the king o' a' the core, 
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, 
Or up the rink like Jehu roar 

In time of need ; 
But now he lags on death's hog-score — 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

6 Now safe the stately sawmont sail. 
And trouts bedropp'd wi' crimson hail, 
And eels weel kenn'd for souple tail, 

And geds for greed, 
Since dark in death's fish-creel we wail 

Tam Samson dead ! 

TAM samson's elegy. 83 

7 Rejoice, je birring paitricks a' ; 

Ye cootie muircocks, crouselj craw ; 
Ye maukius, cock jour fud fu' braw, 

Withoiiten dread ; 
Your mortal fae is now awa' — 

Tarn Samson 's dead ! 

8 That woefu' morn be ever mourn'd 
Saw him in sliootin' graith adorn'd, 
While pointers round impatient burn'd, 

Frae couples freed ; 
But, och ! he gaed and ne'er return'd — 

Tarn Samson's dead! 

9 In vain auld age his body batters ; 
In vain the gout his ancles fetters ; 

In vain the burns cam' down like waters, 

An acre braid ! 
Now every auld wife, greetin', clatters. 

Tarn Samson 's dead ! 

1 Owre mony a weary hag he limpit, 
A nd aye the tither shot he thumpit, 
Till coward Death behind him jumpit 

Wi' deadly feide ; 
Now he proclaims, wi' tout o' trumpet, 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

1 1 When at his heart he felt the dagger, 
He reel'd his wonted bottle swagger, 
But yet he drew the mortal trigger, 

Wi' weel-aim'd heed ; 
* L — , five ! ' he cried, an' owre did stagger — 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

84 burns' poems. 

12 Ilk hoary hunter niourn'd a hrithcr ; 
Ilk sportsman youth bemoan'd a father ; 
Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather, 

Marks out his head, 
Whare Burns has wrote, in rhyming blether, 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

13 There low he lies, in lasting rest ; 
Perhaps upon his mouldering breast 
Some spitefu' muirfowl bigs her nest, 

To hatch and breed ; 
Alas ! nae mair he '11 them molest ! — 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

14 When August winds the heather wave, 
And sportsmen wander by yon grave, 
Three volleys let his memory crave 

0' pouther and lead, 
Till Echo answer frae her cave, 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 

1 5 Heaven rest his saul, whare'er he be ! 
Is the wish o' mony mae than me : 
He had twa faults, or maybe three, 

Yet what remead 1 
Ae social, honest man want we : 

Tam Samson 's dead ! 


Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies, 
Ye canting zealots, spare him ! 

If honest worth in Heaven rise, 
Ye '11 mend or ye win near him. 

Hallowe'en. 85 


Go, Fame ! and canter like a fillj, 
Through a' the streets and neuks o' Killie/ 
Tell every social, honest billie 

To cease his grievin', 
For jet, unskaith'd by Death's gleg gullie, 

Tarn Samson 's leevin'. 


' Yes ! let the rich deride, the proud disdain, 
The simple pleasures of the lowly train ; 
To me more dear, congenial to my heart, 
One native charm, than all the gloss of art.' 


Tlie following poem will, by many readers, be well enough understood ; but 
for the sake of those who are unacquainted with the manners and tradi- 
tions of the country where the scene is cast, notes are added, to give 
some accomit of the principal charms and spells of that night, so big with 
prophecy to the peasantry in the west of Scotland. The passion of prying 
into futurity makes a striking part of the history of human nature in its 
nide state, in all ages and nations ; and it may be some entertainment 
to a philosophic mind, if any such should honour the author with the 
perusal, to see the remains of it among the move unenlightened in our 
own. — B. 

1 Upon that night, when fairies light, 
On Cassilis Downaus^ dance, 

' ' Killie : ' is a phrase the country-folks sometimes use for Kilmarnock. — B. 
— 2 ' Hallowe'en : ' is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other 
mischief- making beings, are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands; 
particularly those aerial people, tlie Fairies, are said on that night to hold a 
grand anniversary. — 7J.— ' ' Cassilis Downans:' certain liltlc romantic rocky 
green hills, in the neighbourhood of the ancient seat ol' the Earls of Cassilis. 


Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze. 
On sprightly coursers prance ; 

Or for Colzean the route is ta'en, 
Beneath the moon's pale beams ; 

Til ere, up the cove,^ to stray an' rove 
Amang the rocks and streams 

To sport that night. 

2 Amang the bonnie winding banks, 

Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear, 
Where Bruce ^ ance ruled the martial ranks, 

An' shook his Carrick spear. 
Some merry, friendly countra folks 

Together did convene, 
To burn their nits, an' pu' their stocks, 

And baud their Hallowe'en, 

Fu' blithe that night. 

3 The lasses feat, and cleanly neat, 

Mair braw than when they 're fine ; 
Their faces blithe, fu' sweetly kythe, 

Hearts leal, and warm, and kin': 
The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs, 

Weel knotted on their garten, 
Some unco blate, and some wi' gabs, 

Gar lasses' hearts gang startin' 

Whiles fast at nisht. 


4 Then first and foremost, through the kail, 
Their stocks^ maun a' be sought ance; 

• ' Cove : ' a noted cavern near Colzean-honse, called The Cove of Colzean ; 
which, as Cassilis Downans, is famed in country story for being a favourite 
haunt of fairies. — B. — ^ ' Bruce : ' the famous family of that name, the ances- 
tors of Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were Earls of Carrick. — B. 
— ' ' Stocks : ' the first ceremony of Ilallowe'en is pulling each a stocky or 

Hallowe'en. 87 

They steek their e'en, and graip an' wale, 
For muckle anes and straught anes. 

Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift, 
And wauder'd through the bow-kail, 

And pii't, for want o' better shift, 
A runt was like a sow-tail, 

Sae bow't that night. 

Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane, 

They roar and cry a' throu 'ther ; 
The A^ra wee things, todlin', rin 

Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther; 
And gif the custoc's sweet or sour 

Wi' joktelegs they taste them ; 
Syne coziely, aboon the door, 

AVi' cannie care, they've placed them 
To lie that nicht. 


6 The lasses staw frao 'mang them a' 

To pu' their stalks o' corn ; ' 
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about, 

B ehint the muckle thorn: 
He grippet Nelly hard an' fast : 

Loud skirled a' the lasses; 
But her tap-pickle maist was lost, 

plant of kail. Tliey must go out, hand in hand, with eyes shut, and pull the 
first they meet with : its being big or little, straight or crooked, is prophetic 
of the size and shape of the grand object of all their spells — the husband or 
wife. If any yird., or earth, stick to the root, that is tocher., or fortune ; and 
the state of the cusioc, that is, the heart of the stem, is indicative of the 
natural temper and disposition. Lastly, the stems, or to give them their 
ordinary appellation, the runts, are placed somewhere above the head of the 
door ; and tiie Cln"istian names of the people wliom cliancc brings into tlie 
house, are according to the priority of placing the runts., the names in ques- 
tion. — B. — ' ' Stalks o' corn : ' they go to the barnyard and pull each, at 
three several times, a stalk of oats. If the third stalk wants the top-pickle, 
that is, the grain at the top of the stalk, the party in question will come to 
the marriage- bed anything but a maid. — Ji. 


When kittliu' in the fause-liouse ^ 

Wi' liini that night 

7 The aiild guidwifc's wecl-hoorclct nits ^ 

Are round and round divided, 
And mony lads' and lasses' fates 

Are there that night decided: 
Some kindle, couthie, side by side, 

And burn thegither triudy ; 
Some start awa' wi' saucy pride, 

And jump outowre the chimlie, 

Fu' high that night. 

8 Jean slips in twa ^Yi' tcntie e'e; 

Wha 'twas, she wadiia tell; 
But this is Jock, an' this is me, 

She says in to hersel': 
He bleezed owre her, and she owre him. 

As they wad never mair part ; 
Till, fuiF! he started up the lum. 

An' Jean had e'en a sair heart 

To see 't that night. 

9 Poor Willie, wi' his bow-kail runt, 

Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie ; 
And Mary, nae doubt, took the druut. 
To be compared to Willie : 

' ' Fause-house : ' when the corn is in a doubtful state, by being too 
green, or wet, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, &c., makes a large 
apartment in his stack, with an opening in the side which is fairest exposed 
to the wind : this he calls a. fause-house.— B.—^ ' Nits : ' burning the uuts is 
a famous charm. They name the lad and lass to each particular nut, as 
they lay them in the fire, and accordingly as they burn quietly together, or 
start from beside one another, the course and issue of the courtship will be. 

Hallowe'en". 89 

Mall's nit lap out wi' pridefu' fling, 

An' her ain fit it brunt it ; 
While AVillie lap, and swoor, bj jing, 

'Twas just the way he wanted 

To be that night. 

10 Nell had the fause-house in her min'. 

She pits hersel' an' Rob in ; 
In loving bleeze they sweetly join. 

Till white in ase they 're sobbin' : 
Nell's heart was dancin' at the view, 

She whisper'd Rob to look for 't : 
Rob, stowlins, pried her bonnie mou', 

Fu' cozie in the neuk for't, 

Unseen that night. 

11 But Merran sat behint their backs, 

Her thoughts on Andrew Bell ; 
She lea'es them gashin' at their cracks. 

And slips out by hersel' : 
She through the yard the nearest taks. 

And to the kiln she goes then. 
And darklius grapit for the bauks, 

And in the blue-clue^ throws then. 

Right fear't that night. 

1 2 And aye she win 't, and aye she swat, 

I wat she made nae jaukin' ; 
Till something held within the pat, 
Guid L — ! but she was quakin' ! 

' ' Bluc-clue : ' whoever would, with success, try this spell, must strictly 
observe these directions : — Steal out, all alone, to the kiln, and, darkling, 
throw into the pot a clue of blue yarn ; wind it in a new clue of the old one ; 
and, towards the latter end, something will hold the thread ; demand, Wha 
bauds? i. e., who holds? An answer will be returned from the kiln-pot, by 
naming the Christian and surname of your i'uture spouse. — JJ. 

90 burns' poems. 

But wliethcr 'twas the Dcil liimsel', 
Or whether 'twas a bauk-eu' ; 

Or whether it was Andrew Bell, 
She did na' M'ait on talkin' 

To spier that night. 

1 3 Wee Jennj to her grannie says, 

' Will ye go wi' me, grannie ? 
I 'II eat the apple ^ at the glass, 

I gat frae uncle Johnny : ' 
She fufF't her pipe wi' sic a lunt, 

In wrath she was sae vap'riu', 
She notice 't na an aizle brunt 

Her braw new worset apron 

Out through that night. 

14 'Ye little-skelpie limmer's face ! 

How daur you try sic sportin'. 
As seek the foul thief ony place, 

For him to spae your fortune ? 
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight ! 

Great cause ye hae to fear it : 
For mony a ane has gotteu a fright, 

And liyed and died deleeret 
On sic a nio;ht. 


15 ' Ae hairst afore the Sherra-muir, 
I mind 't as weel 's yestreen, 
I was a gilpey then, I 'm sure 
I was na past fyfteen : 

' ' Eat the apple : ' take a candle, and go alone to a looking-glass ; eat an 
apple before it, and some traditions say, )'0u shonld comb 3'onr hair all the 
time ; the face of your conjugal companion, to be, will be seen in the glass, as 
if peeping over your shoulder. — B. 

Hallowe'en. 91 

The simmer had been cauld an' wat, 

And stuff was unco green ; 
And aje a rantiu' kirn we gat, 

And just on Hallowe'en 

It fell that nio-ht. 

16 'Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen, 

A clevei*, sturdy fallow ; 
His sin gat Eppie Sim yvi' wean, 

That lived in Achmacalla : 
He gat hemp-seed,^ I mind it wecl, 

And he made unco light o't ; 
But mony a day was by himsel', 

He was sae sairly frighted 

That vera night/ 

17 Then up gat feclitin' Jamie Fleck, 

And he swoor bv his conscience, 
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck; 

For it was a' but nonsense. 
The auld guidman raught down the pock. 

An' out a handfu' gied him ; 
Syne bad him slip frae 'mang the folk 

Sometime when nae ane see'd him, 
And try 't that night. 

18 He marches through amang the stacks, 
Though he was something sturtin', 

' ' Hemp-seed : ' steal out, unperceived, and sow a handful of hemp-seed ; 
harrowing it with anything you can conveniently draw after you. Repeat 
now and then, ' Hemp-seed, I saw thee ; hemp-seed, I saw thee ; and him 
(or her) that is to be my true-love, come after me and pu' thee.' Look over 
your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance of the person invoked, in 
the attitude of jjulling hemp. Some traditions say, ' Come after me and shaw 
tiiee,' lliat is, show thyself: in wliich case it simply appears. Otiicrs omit 
the harrowing, and say, ' Come after me, and harrow thee.' 

92 burns' poExMS. 

The graip he for a harrow taks, 
And haurls at his curpin : 

And every now an' then, he says, 
'Ilemp-sced, I saw thee, 

And her that is to be my lass, 
Come after me, and draw thee, 

As fast this night.' 

19 He wliistled up ' Lord Lennox' March,' 
To keep his courage cheerie; 
Although his hair began to arch, 

He was sae fley'd an' eerie : 
Till presently he hears a squeak, 
An' then a grane an' gruntle ; 
He by his shouther gae a keek, 
And tumbled wi' a wintle 

Outowre that ni^jlit. 


20 He roar'd a horrid murder-shout, 

In dreadfu' desperation; 
And young and auld cam rinnin' out, 

And hear the sad narration : 
He swoor 'twas hilchin' Jean M'Craw, 

Or crouchie Merran Humphie, 
Till, stop ! — she trotted througli tliem a' — 

And wha was it but grumphie, 

Asteer that night ' 

21 Meg fain wad to the barn ha'e gaen. 

To win three wechts o' naethiug ; ^ 

' ' Win three wechts o' nactliing : ' this charm must likewise be performed 
imperceived, and alone. You go to the barn, and open both doors, taking 
them off the hinges, if possible ; for there is danger that the being about to 
appear maj' shut the doors, and do you some mischief. Then take that instru- 
ment used in winnowing the corn, which, in our country dialect, we call a 
wecht; and go through all the attitudes of letting dowa corn against the 

HALLOAYe'eN-. 9rJ 

But for to meet the deil her lane, 

She pat but little faith in : 
She gies the herd a pickle nits, 

And twa red-cheekit apples, 
To watch, while for the barn she sets, 

In hopes to see Tain Kipples 

That vera night. 

22 She turns the key wi' cannie thraw, 
And owre the threshold ventures; 
But first on Sawnie gies a ca', 
Sjne bauldlj in she enters; 
A ratton rattled up the wa'. 

And she cried, L preserve her ! 

And ran through midden-hole an' a'. 
And praj'd wi' zeal an' fervour, 

Fu' fast that niirht. 


23 Thcj hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice ; 

The J hecht him some fine braw ane; 
It chanced the stack he faddom'd thrice,^ 

Was timmer propt for thrawin'; 
He taks a swirlie auld moss-oak, 

For some black, grousome carlin'; 
And loot a winze, and drew a stroke, 

Till skin in bljpes came haurlin' 

Aff 's nieves that night. 

24 A wanton widow Leezie was. 

As cantie as a kittlin'; 

wind. Repeat it tliree times; ami tlie tliird time an apparition will pass 
through the barn, in at the windy door, and out at the otlier, having both tlic 
figure in question, and the appearance or retinue marking the employment or 
hlation in life. — li. — • ' Faddoni'd thrice:' take an opportunity of going 
ninioticed, to a bear-stack, and fatlioni it tin-ee times round. Tiie last fathom 
of the last time you will catch in your arms the appearance of your future 
conjugal yoke-fellow. — B. 

94 burns' poems. 

But, ocli ! that night, amang the shaws, 

She got a fearfu' scttlin'! 
Slie throiigli tlie whins, an' by the cairn. 

An' owre the hill gacd scrievin', 
Whare three lairds' lands met at a burn,* 

To dip her left sark-sleeve in, 

Was bent that night. 

25 Whjlcs owre a linn the biirnie plajs. 
As through the glen it wiinplet ; 
Whyles round a rocky scaur it strays ; 

Whyles in a wiel it dimplet ; 
Whyles glitter'd to the nightly rays, 

Wi' bickering, dancing dazzle : 
Whyles cookit underneath the braes, 
Below the spreading hazel. 

Unseen that nia'ht. 


26 Amang the brackens, on the brae, 
Between her and the moon, 
The deil, or else an outler quey. 

Gat up and gae a croon ; 
Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hooi ; 

Near lav'rock height she jumpit. 
But mist a fit, an' in the pool 
Outowre the lugs she plumpit, 

Wi' a plunge that night. 

' ' Met at a burn : ' you go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to a 
south running spring or rivulet, where ' three lairds' lands meet,' and dip your 
left shirt sleeve. Go to bod in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before 
it to dry. Lie awake ; and, some time near midnight, an apparition, having 
the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleeve, 
as if to dry the other side of it. — D. 

Hallowe'en. 95 

27 In order, on tlie clean hearth-stanc, 

The luggies three ^ are ranged, 
And every time great care is ta'en 

To see them duly changed ; 
Anld micle John, wha wedlock's joys 

Sin' Mar's-year did desire. 
Because he gat the toom dish thrice, 

He heaved them on the fire 

In wrath that night. 

28 Wi' merry sangs, and friendly cracks, 

I wat they did na wearie ; 
And unco tales, and funnie jokes, 

Their sports were cheap and cheerie ; 
Till butter'd so'ns,^ wi' fragrant lunt. 

Set a' their gabs a-steerin' ; 
Syne, wi' a social glass o' struut, 

They parted aif careerin' 

Fu' blithe that night. 

' ' Luggies three : ' take three dishes ; put clean water in one, foul water 
in another, leave the third empty ; blindfold a person, and lead him to the 
hearth where the dishes are ranged ; he (or slie) dips the left hand, if by 
chance in the clean water, the fnture husband or wife will come to the bar of 
matrimony a maid; if in the foul, a widow ; if in the empty dish, it foretells, 
with equal certainty, no marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and 
every time the arrangement of the dishes is altered. — B. — - ' Butter'd so'ns : ' 
sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is always the Halhwe^en 
supper. — B. 

96 burns' poems. 




A GUID new-year I wish tlice, Maggie ! 
Hae, there 's a ripp to thy auld baggie : 
Though thou 's howe-backit now, and knaggie, 

I 've seen the day 
Thou could hae gaen like ony staggie 

Outowre the lay. 

2 Though now thou 's dowie, stiff, an' crazy, 
And thy auld hide 's as white 's a daisy, 
I've seen tliee dapplet, sleek, and glaizie, 

A bonnie gray : 
He should been tight that daur't to raise tliee, 
A nee in a day. 

3 Thou ance was i' the foremost rank, 
A filly buirdly, steeve, an' swank, 
And set weel down a shapely shank. 

As e'er tread yird ; 
And could hae flown outowre a stank. 
Like ony bird. 

4 It 's now some nine-an'-twenty year. 
Sin' thou was my guid father's meare ; 
He gied me thee, o' tocher clear. 

An' fifty mark ; 
Though it was sma', 'twas weel-won gear, 
An' thou was stark. 

Hallowe'en. 9 7 

5 When first I gaed to woo raj Jenny, 
Ye then was trottin' wi' your minny : 
Though ye was trickle, slee, an' funnie, 

Ye ne'er was clonsie ; 
But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie, 
And unco sonsie. 

6 That day ye pranced wi' muckle pride, 
When ye bure hame my bonnie bride : 
And sweet an' gracefu' she did ride, 

Wi' maiden air ! 
Kyle Stewart I could bragged wide 
For sic a pair. 

7 Though now ye dow but hoyte and hobble, 
And wintle, like a saumont-coble, 

That day ye was a jinker noble, 

For heels an' win' ! 
And ran them till they a' did wauble, 

Far, far behin'. 

8 When thou an' I were young and skeigh. 
And stable-meals at fairs were dreigh, 

How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' skreigh, 

And tak the road ! 
Town's bodies ran, and stood abeigh, 

And cat thee mad. 

9 When thou was corn't, an' I was mellow, 
We took the road aye like a swallow : 
At brooses ^ thou had ne'er a fellow 

For pith and speed ; 
But every tail thou pay't them hollow, 
Where'er thou gaed. 

' ' Broose : ' a race at a wedding, see ' Hogg's Tales,' passim. 


98 burns' poems. 

10 The sma', droop-riimplet Imiiter cattle, 
Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle ; 
But sax Scotch miles thou trj't their mettle 

And gar't them whaizle : 
Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle 
0' saugh or hazel. 

11 Thou was a noble fittie-lan', 

As e'er in tug or tow was drawn ! 
Aft thee an' I, in aught hours' gaun, 

In guid March weather, 
Hae tui^n'd sax rood beside our han'. 

For days thegither. 

12 Thou never braindg't, an' fetch't, an' fliskit, 
But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, 
And spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket, 

Wi' pith and power. 
Till spritty knowes wad rair't and risket, 
Aq' sly pet owre. 

13 When frosts lay lang, and snaws were deep, 
And threaten'd labour back to keep, 

I gied thy cog a wee-bit heap 

Aboon the timmer ; 

I kenu'd my Maggie wad na sleep 
For that, or simmer. 

14 In cart or car thou never reestit ; 

The steyest brae thou wad hae faced it ; 
Thou never lap, and sten't, and breastit, 

Then stood to blaw ; 
But just thy step a wee thing hastit, 

Thou snoov't awa'. 


15 My pleugli is now thy bairn-time a' ; 
Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw ; 
Forbje sax mae, I 've selt awa' 

That thou hast nurst : 
Thej drew me tliretteen pund an' twa, 
The vera warst. 

16 Mony a sair daurk we twa hae wrought 
And wi' the weaiy war!' fought ! 

And mony an anxious day, I thought 

We wad be beat ! 
Yet here to crazy age we 're brought, 

Wi' something yet. 

17 And think na, my auld trusty servan', 
That now perhaps thou 's less deservin'. 
And thy auld days may end in starvin', 

For my last fow, 
A heapit stimpart I '11 reserve ane, 
Laid by for you. 

1 8 V/e 've worn to crazy years thegither ; 
We '11 toyte about wi' ane ar.ither ; 
Wi' tentie care I '11 flit thy tether, 

To some hain'd rig, 
Whare ye may nobly rax your leather, 
Wi' sma' fatifruo. 

100 burns' poems. 




1 Wee, slcekit, ccw'riii', tim'rous bcastie, 
Oh, what a panic 's in thj breastie ! 
Thou need na start awa sae hasty, 

Wi' bickering bi'attle ! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee, 

Wi' murd'ring pattle ! 

2 I 'm truly sorry man's dominion 
Has broken Nature's social union, 
And justifies that ill opinion 

Which maks thee startle 
At me, thy poor earth-born companion, 

An' fellow-mortal ! 

3 I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve ; 
What then 1 poor beastie, thou maun live ! 
A daimen icker in a thrave 

'S a sma' request : 
1 '11 get a blessin' wi' the lave, 

And never miss 't ! 

4 Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin ! 
Its silly was the win's are strewin' ! 
And naething, now, to big a new ane, 

0' foggage green ! 
And bleak December's winds ensuin', 

Baith snell and keen ! 

TO A MOUSE. 101 

5 Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste, 
And wearj winter comin' fast, 

And cozie here, beneath the blast, 

Thou thought to dwell, 

Till, crash ! the cruel coulter pass'd 

Out through thj cell. 

6 That wee bit heap o' leaves and stibble. 
Has cost thee mouy a weary nibble ! 
Now thou 's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble, 

But house or hald, 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble, 

And cranreuch cauld ! 

7 But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane. 
In proving foresight may be vain : 
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men, 

Gang aft a-gley. 
And lea'e us nought but grief and pain, 

For promised joy. 

8 Still thou art blest, compared wi' me ! 
The present only toucheth thee : 
But, och ! I backward cast my e'e 

On prospects drear ! 
And forward, though I canna see, 

I guess an' fear. 

102 burns' poems. 


' Poor naked wretches, -wlieresoe'er yoti are, 
Tliat bide the pelting of tliis [litiless storm ! 
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides, 
Your loop'd and window'd raggcdness, defend j'ou 
From seasons such as these '? ' 


1 When biting Boreas, fell and doiire, 
Sharp sliivers tlirougli the leafless bower; 
When Phoebus gies a short-lived glower 

Far south the lift, 
Dim-darkening through the flaky shower, 

Or whirling drift : 

2 Ae night the storm the steeples rock'd. 
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was lock'd, 
While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up-cliok'd, 

Wild-eddying swirl. 
Or through the mining outlet bock'd, 

Down headlong hurl. 

3 Listening the doors and winnocks rattle, 
I thought me on the ourie cattle, 

Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle 

0' winter war. 
And through the drift, deep-lairing sprattle, 

Beneath a scaur. 

Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing. 
That, in the merry months o' spring, 
Delighted me to hear thee sing, 

What comes o' thee ? 
Whare wilt thou cower tliy cluttering wing. 

And close thy e'e 1 


5 Even joii, on murdering errands toil'd, 
Lone from your savage homes exiled, 

The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd, 

My heart forgets, 
lYhile pitiless the tempest wild 

Sore on you beats. 

6 Now PhoBbe, in her midnight reign, 
Dark muffled, view'd the dreary plain ; 
Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train. 

Rose in my soul, 
AVhen on my ear this plaintive strain 

Slow, solemn, stole : — 

' Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust ! 
And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost ! 
Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows ! 
Not all your rage, as now united, shows 
More hard unkindness, unrelenting, 
Vengeful malice unrepenting, 
Than Heaven-illumined man on brother man bestows! 

See stern Oppression's iron grip. 

Or mad Ambition's gory hand, 
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip, 

Woe, want, and murder o'er a land ! 
Even in the peaceful rural vale, 
Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale, 
IIow pamper'd Luxury, Flattery by her side. 
The parasite empoisoning her ear, 
With all the servile wretches in the rear. 
Looks o'er proud Property, extended wide ; 
And eyes the simple rustic hind, 

Whose toil upholds the glittering show, 

104 burns' poems. 

A creature of another kind, 
Some coarser substance, unrefined, 
Placed for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below. 

Where, where is Love's fond, tender throe, 
With lordly Honour's lofty brow. 

The powers you proudly own 1 
Is there, beneath Love's noble name, 
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim. 

To bless himself alone 1 
Mark maiden-innocence a prey 

To love-pretending snares, 
This boasted Honour turns away, 
Shunning soft Pity's rising sway. 
Regardless of the tears, and unavailing prayers ! 
Perhaps, this hour, in Misery's squalid nest. 
She strains your infant to her joyless breast, 
And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking blast ! 

Oh ye who, sunk in beds of down, 
Feel not a want but what yourselves create. 
Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate. 
Whom friends and fortune quite disown ! 
Ill-satisfied keen Nature's clamorous call, 

Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep. 
While through the ragged roof and chinky wall. 
Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty heap ! 
Think on the dungeon's grim confine. 
Where Guilt and poor Misfortune pine I 
Guilt, erring man, relenting view ! 
But shall thy leiial rage pursue 
The wretch already crushed low 
By cruel Fortune's undeserved blow ? 
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress, 
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss ! ' 


7 I beard nae mair, for chanticleer 

Shook off the poutherj snaw, 
And hail'd the morning with a cheer, 
A cottage-rousing craw. 

8 But deep this truth impress'd my mind- 

Through all His works abroad, 
The heart, benevolent and kind. 
The most resembles God. 




While winds frae afF Ben-Lomond blaw. 
And bar the doors wi' driving snaw, 

And hing us owre the ingle, 
I set me down to pass the time, 
And spin a verse or twa o' rhyme, 

In hamely westlin' jingle. 
While frosty winds blaw in the drift, 

Ben to the chimla lug, 
I grudge a wee the great folks' gift, 
That live sae bien an' snug : 
I tent less, and want less 
Their roomy fireside ; 
But hanker and canker 
To see their cursed pride. 

2 It 's hardly in a body's power 
To keep, at times, frae being sour, 
To see how things arc shared ; 

' • Brother poet : ' David SilUir, one of the club at Tarbolton, and author 
of a volume of poems in the Scottish dialect. 


How best o' cliicls are whiles in want, 
While coofs on countless thousands rant, 

And ken na how to wair 't : 
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head, 

Though we hae little gear, 
We 're fit to win our daily bread, 
As lang 's we 're hale and fier : 
' Mair spier na, nor fear na,' ^ 
Auld age ne'er mind a feg, 
The last o 't, the warst o 't. 
Is only for to beg. 

3 To lie in kilns and barns at e'en 

When banes are crazed, and bluid is thin. 

Is, doubtless, great distress ! 
Yet then content could make us blest ; 
Even then, sometimes, we 'd snatch a taste 

Of truest happiness. 
The honest heart that 's free frae a' 

Intended fraud or guile, 
Plowever Fortune kick the ba'. 
Has aye some cause to smile : 
And mind still, you '11 find still, 

A comfort this nae sma' ; 
Nae mair then, we '11 care then, 
Nae farther can we fa'. 

4 What though, like commoners of air, 
We wander out, we know not where. 

But either house or hall ? 
Yet nature's charms, the hills and woods. 
The sweeping vales, and foaming floods, 

Are free alike to all. 

' ' Fear na : ' Ramsay. — B. 


lu days ^lien daisies deck the ground, 

And blackbirds whistle clear, 
With honest joy our hearts will bound, 
To see the coming year : 

On braes when we please, then. 

We '11 sit an' sowth a tune ; 
Syne rhyme till 't, we '11 time till 't, 
And sins; 't when we hae dune, 

5 It's no in titles nor in rank; 

It 's no in wealth like Lon'ou bank, 

To purchase peace and rest ; 
It 's no in making muckle mair : 
It's no in books; it's no in lear. 

To make us truly blest : 
If happiness hae not her seat 
And centre in the breast, 
We may be wise, or rich, or great. 
But never can be blest : 

Nae treasures, nor pleasures, 

Could make us happy lang; 
The heart aye 's the part aye. 
That makes us ridit or wranjr. 

6 Think ye, that sic as you and I, 

Wha drudge and drive through wet an' dry, 

Wi' never-ceasing toil; 
Think ye, are we less blest than thej^ 
Wha scarcely tent us in their way, a ; 

As hardly worth their while '? 
Alas ! how aft in haughty mood, 

God's creatures they oppress ! 
Or else, neglecting a' that 's guid, 

Tlicy riot in excess ! 

108 burns' roEMS. 

Baith careless, and fearless, 
Of either heaven or hell ! 

Estecmhig, and deeming 
It 's a' an idle tale ! 

7 Then let us checrfu' acquiesce ; 
Nor make our scanty pleasures less, 

By pining at our state ; 
And, even should misfortunes come, 
I, here wlia sit, hae met \vi' some, 

An 's thankfu' for them yet : 
They gie the wit of age to youth ; 

They let us ken ourseF ; 
They make us see the naked truth, 
The real guid and ill. 

Though losses, and crosses 
Be lessons right severe. 
There 's wit there, ye 11 get there, 
Ye '11 find nae other where. 

8 But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts ! 

(To say aught less wad wrang the cartes. 

And flattery I detest) 
This life has joys for you and I ; 
And joys that riches ne'er could buy ; 

And joys the very best. 
There 's a' the pleasures o' the heart. 

The lover an' the frien'; 
Ye hae your Meg,^ your dearest part. 
And I my darling Jean ! 
It warms me, it charms me. 

To mention but her name : 
It heats me, it beets me, 
And sets me a' on flame ! 

' Meg : ' JIargaret Orr, a servant of JMrs Stewart of Stair 


9 all ye Powers who rule above ! 
Thou, whose very self art Love ! 
Thou know'st my words sincere ! 
The life-blood streaming through my heart, 
Or my more dear immortal part, 

Is not more fondly dear ! 
When heart-corroding care and grief 

Deprive my soul of rest. 
Her dear idea brings relief 
And solace to my breast. 
Thou Being, All-seeing, 

Oh hear my fervent prayer ; 
Still take her, and make her 
Thy most peculiar care ! 

10 All hail, ye tender feelings dear ! 
The smile of love, the friendly tear, 

The sympathetic glow ! 
Long since, this world's thorny ways 
Had number'd out my weary days. 

Had it not been for you ! 
Fate still has blest me with a friend, 

In every care and ill ; 
And oft a more endearing band, 
A tie more tender still. 
It lightens, it brightens 
The tencbrific scene, 
To meet with, and greet with 
My Uavie or my Jean ! 

11 Oh, how that name inspires my style ! 
The words come skclpin', rank and file, 

Amaist before 1 ken ! 
The ready measure rins as fine, 

110 BUllNS' POEMS. 

As Plioibus and the famous Nine 

Were glouriu' owre my pen. 
My spavict Pegasus will limp, 

Till ance he 's fairly het ; 
And then he '11 hilch, and stilt, and jimp, 
An' riu an unco fit; 

But lest then, the beast then. 
Should rue this hasty ride, 
I '11 light now, and dight now 
His sweaty wizen'd hide. 




' x\.]as! how oft does Goodness wound itself, 
And sweet Ailectiou prove the spring of woe ! ' 


1 THOU pale Orb, that silent shines, 

While care-untroubled mortals sleep ! 
Thou seest a wretch that inly pines, 

And Meanders here to wail and weep ! 
With woe I nightly vigils keep 

Beneath thy wan, unwarming beam ; 
And mourn, in lamentation deep, 

How life and love are all a dream. 

2 I joyless view thy rays adorn 

The faintly-marked distant hill: 
I joyless view thy trembling horn. 
Reflected in the gurgling rill : 


My foudlj-fluttering heart, be still ! 

Thou busy power, Remembraacc, cease ! 
Ah! must the agonising thrill 

For ever bar returning peace ? 

3 No idly-feign'd poetic pains, 

My sad, love-lorn lamentings claim ; 
No shepherd's pipe — Arcadian strains ; 

No fabled tortures, quaint and tame : 
The plighted faith ; the mutual flame ; 

The oft attested Powers above ; 
The promised father's tender name — 

These were the pledges of my love ! 

4 Encircled in her clasping arms, 

How have the raptured moments flown ! 
How have I M'ish'd for fortune's charms, 

For her dear sake, and her's alone ! 
And must I think it ! — is she gone, 

My secret heart's exulting boast '? 
And does she heedless hear my groan ? 

And is she ever, ever lost 'i 

5 Oh ! can she bear so base a heart. 

So lost to honour, lost to truth, 
As from the fondest lover part, 

The plighted husband of her youth ? 
Alas ! life's path may be unsmooth 1 

Her way may lie through rough distress ! 
Then, who her pangs and pains will soothe. 

Her sorrows share, and make them less 1 

(j Ye winged hours that o'er us pass'd, 
Enraptured more, the more enjoy'd, 

112 burns' poems. 

Your dear remembrance in my breast, 
Mj fondly-treasured thoughts emploj'd. 

That breast, how dreary now, and void, 
For her too scanty once of room ! 

Even every ray of hope destroy'd, 
And not a wish to gild the gloom ! 

7 The morn that warms the approaching day, 

Awakes me up to toil and woe : 
I see the hours in long array, 

That I must suffer, liniieriuo-, slow. 
Full many a pang, and many a throe, 

Keen recollection's direful train, 
Must wring my soul, ere Phoebus, low, 

Shall kiss the distant western main. 

8 And when my nightly couch I try, 

Sore harass'd out with care and grief. 
My toil-beat nerves, and tear-worn eye, 

Keep watchings with the nightly thief : 
Or if I slumber, fancy, chief. 

Reigns haggard- wild, in sore affright : 
Even day, all-bitter, brings relief, 

From such a horror-breathing night. 

9 thou bright Queen ! who o'er the expanse 

Now highest reign'st, with boundless sway ! 
Oft has thy silent-marking glance 

Observed us, fondly-wandering, stray ! 
The time, unheeded, sped away. 

While love's luxurious pulse beat high. 
Beneath thy silver-gleaming ray, 

To mark the mutual kindling eye. 


10 Oh! scenes in stronoj remembrance set I 

Scenes never, never to return ! 
Scenes, if in stupor I forget, 

Agciin I feel, again I burn ! 
From every joj and pleasure torn, 

Life's wearj vale I '11 wander through ; 
And hopeless, comfortless, I '11 mourn 

A faithless woman's broken vow. 


1 Oppkess'd with grief, oppress'd Avith care, 
A burden more than I can bear, 

I sit me down and sigh : 
life ! thou art a galling load, 
Along a rough, a weary road. 

To wretches such as I ! 
Dim backward as I cast my view, 
What sickening scenes appear ! 
What sorrows yet may pierce me through, 
Too justly I may fear ! 
Still caring, despairing. 

Must be my bitter doom ; 
My woes here shall close ne'er, 
But with the closiuo- tomb ! 


2 Happy, ye sons of busy life, 
Who, equal to the bustling strife, 

No other view regard ! 
Even when the wished end 's denied, 
Yet while the busy means are plied. 

They bring their own reward : 



Wliilst I, a liopc-abandon'd wighfe, 

Unfitted with an aim, 
Meet every sad returning night 
And joyless morn the same ; 
You, bustling, and justling, 

Forget each grief and pain ; 
I, listless, yet restless, 
Find every prospect vain, 

3 How blest the Solitary's lot. 
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot, 

Within his humble cell. 
The cavern wild w^ith tano-linj:' roots. 
Sits o'er his newly gather'd fruits, 

Beside his crystal well ! 
Or, haply, to his evening thought, 

By unfrequented stream. 
The ways of men are distant brought, 
A faint collected dream ; 
While praising, and raising 

His thoughts to heaven on high. 
As wand'ring, meand'ring, 
He views the solemn sky. 

4 Than I, no lonely hermit placed 
Where never human footstep traced, 

Less fit to play the part : 
The lucky moment to improve. 
And just to stop, and just to move, 

With self-respecting art : 
But ah ! those pleasures, loves, and joys, 

Which I too keenly taste, 
The Solitary can despise, 

Can want, and yet be blest ! 

WINTER. 115 

lie needs not, lie heeds not, 

Or liiiman love or hate, 
AYhilst I here must cry here 

At perfidy ingrate ! 

Oh enviable, early days. 

When dancing thoughtless Pleasure's maze, 

To Care, to Guilt unknown ! 
How ill-exchanged for riper times, 
To feel the follies, or the crimes, 

Of others, or my own ! 
Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport, 

Like linnets in the bush. 
Ye little know the ills ye court, 
When manhood is your wish ! 
The losses, the crosses. 

Til at active man en2;a2fe I 
The fears all, the tears all, 

Of dim declining age I 


The wintry west extends his blast, 

And hail and rain does blaw ; 
Or, the stormy north sends driving forth 

The blinding sleet and snaw : 
While, tumbling brown, the bum comes down, 

And roars frae bank to brae ; 
And bird and beast in covert rest, 

And pass the heartless day. 

116 BUliNS' POEMS. 

2 ' The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,' ^ 

The joyless winter-day, 
Let others fear, to me more dear 

Than all the pride of May : 
The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul. 

My griefs it seems to join ; 
The leafless trees my faney please, 

Their fate resembles mine ! 

3 Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme 

These woes of mine fulfil. 
Here, firm, I rest, they must be best. 

Because they are Thy will ! 
Then all I want (oh, do Thou grant 

This one request of mine !) 
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny, 

Assist me to resign. 



' Let not ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; 

Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile 
The short but simple annals of the poor.' 


1 My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend ! 
No mercenary bard his homage pays; 
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end ; 
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise : 

* 'O'ercast:' I)r Young.— ZJ. — " 'Aiken:' a writer in Ayr and great 
friend of Burns. 

THE cottar's SATURDAY NIGnT. 117 

To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays, 
X Tlie lowlj train in life's sequester'd scene ; 
The native feelings strong, the guileless ways; 
What Aiken in a cottage would have been ; 
Ah ! though his worth unknown, far happier there, I 
ween. ! 

2 November chill blaws loud wi' angry sough ; 

The shortening winter-day is near a close ; 
The miry beasts retreating frae the plough ; 

The blackening trains o' craws to their repose : 
The toil-worn cottar frae his labour goes, 

This night his weekly moil is at an end. 
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, 
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, 
And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward 

3 At length his lonely cot appears in view, 

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree : 
The expectant wee things, toddlin', stacher through 

To meet their dad, wi' flichterin' noise an' glee. 
His wee bit ingle, blinkin' bonnily. 

His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile, 
The lisping infant prattling on his knee, 

Does a' his weary carking cares beguile. 
And makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil. 

4 Belyve, the elder bairns come drapping in, 

At service out, araang the farmers roun', 
Some ca' the plough, some herd, some tentie rin 

A cannie errand to a neibour town : 
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown, 

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e. 
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown 

lis BUllNS' POEMS. 

Or deposit licr sair-won penny-fee, 
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship bo. 

5 Wi' joy imfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet, 

And "each for other's weelfare kindly speirs : 
The social hours, swift-wing'd unnoticed lleet ; 

Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ; 
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years ; 

Anticipation forward points the view. 
The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears, 

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new — 
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due. 

6 Their master's and their mistress's command. 

The younkers a' are warned to obey ; 
And mind their labours wi' an eydent hand. 

And ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play : 
' And oh ! be sure to fear the Lord alway ! 

And mind your duty, duly, morn an' night ! 
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray. 

Implore Ilis counsel and assisting might ; 
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord 

icrht ! ' 

7 But hark ! a rap comes gently to the door ; 
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, 
Tells how a neibour lad cam o'er the moor. 

To do some errands, and convoy her hame. 
The wily mother sees the conscious flame 

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek ; 
With heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name. 
While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak ; 
Weel pleased, the mother hears its nae wild, worthless 

THE cottar's SATURDAY XIGIIT. 119 

8 Wi' kindly welcome, Jeunj brings him ben ; 

A strappin' youth ; he taks the mother's eye ; 
Blithe Jenny sees the visit 's no ill ta'en ; 

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. 
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy, 

But blate an' laithfu', scarce can weel behave ; 
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy 

What makes the youth sae baslifu' and sae grave ; 
Weel pleased to think her bairn 's respected like the lave. 

9 happy love ! — where love like this is found ! 

heart-felt raptures ! — bliss beyond compare ! 
I 've paced much this weary mortal round. 

And sage experience bids me this declare — 
' If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare, 

One cordial in this melancholy vale, 
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair. 
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale. 
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening 

10 Is there, in human form, that bears a heart — 

A wretch ! a villain ! lost to love and truth ! 
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art, 

Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth ? 
Curse on his perjured arts ! dissembling smooth ! 

Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled 1 
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth. 

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child ; 
Then paints the ruiu'd maid, and their distraction wild ? 

1 1 But now the supper crowns their simple board, 

The halesome i)arritch, chief o' Scotia's food : 
The soupe their only hawkic does aflbrcl, 

120 burns' poems. 

That 'jont the hallan snuglj cliows her cood : 
The dame brings forth, in complinicntal mood, 

To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell, 
And aft he 's press'd, and aft he ca's it guid ; 
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell, 
IIow 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell. 

1 2 The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face, 1 

Thej, round the ingle, form a circle wide ; j 
The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace. 

The big ha'-Biblc, ance his father's pride : 
His bonnet reverently is laid aside, 

His Ijart haffets wearing thin an' bare ; 
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, 

He wales a portion with judicious care ; 
And ' Let us worship God ! ' he says, with solemn air. 

13 They chant their artless notes in simple guise ; 
They tune their hearts, by far tlie noblest aim : 

Perhaps ' Dundee's ' wild warbling measures rise, 
Or plaintive 'Martyrs,' worthy of the name ; 

Or noble ' Elgin ' beets the heavenward flame. 
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays : 

Compared with these, Italian trills are tame; 
The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise ; 
Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise. 

14 The priest-like father reads the sacred page — 
IIow Abram was the friend of God on high! 

Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage 
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ; 

Or how the royal bard did groaning lie 

Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire; 

Or Job's pathetic plaint and wailing cry ; 

THE cottar's SATURDAY NIGHT. 121 

Or rapt Isaiah's wild scrapliic fire ; 
Oi- other holj seers that tune the sacred lyre. 

15 Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme — 

How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed; 
How He, who bore in heaven the second name, 
Had not on earth whereon to lay His head: 
How His first followers and servants sped; 

The precepts sage they wrote to many a laud : 
How he, who lone in Patmos banished. 
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand ; 
And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by 
Heaven's command. 

16 Then kneelins; down, to Heavejj's Eternal King, 

The saint, the father, and the husband prays: 
Hope ' springs exulting on triumphant wing,' ^ 

That thus they all shall meet in future days : 
There ever bask in uncreated rays. 

No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear, 
Together hymning their Creator's praise. 

In such society, yet still more dear; 
While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere. 

1 7 Compared with this, how poor Religion's pride, 

In all the pomp of method, and of art. 
When men display to congregations wide. 

Devotion's every grace, except the heart! 
The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert. 

The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole ; 
But haply, in some cottage far apart. 

May hear, well-pleased, the language of the soul; 
And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enrol. 

' Pope's ' Windsor Forest.'— U. 

122 BUilNS' rOEMS. 

18 Then homeward all take off their several way: 

The youngling cottagers retire to rest: 
The parent pair their secret homage pay, 

And proffer up to Heaven the warm request 
That lie who stills the raven's clamorous nest, 

And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, 
Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best, 

For them and for their little ones provide ; 
But, chiefly, in their hearts with grace divine preside. 

19 From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs, 

That makes her loved at home, revered abroad : 
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, 

' An honest man 's the noblest work of God : ' 
And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road, 

The cottage leaves the palace far behind ; 
What is a lordling's pomp? — a cumbrous load. 

Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, 
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refined ! 

20 Scotia ! my dear, my native soil ! 

For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sent ! 
Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil 
Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet con- 
tent ! 
x\nd, oh ! may Heaven their simple lives prevent 

From luxury's contagion, weak and vile ! 
Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent, 
A virtuous populace may rise the while, 
And stand a wall of fire around their much-loved isle. 

21 Thou ! who pour'd the patriotic tide 

That stream'd through AYallace's undaunted^ heart, 

' ' UudaunteJ : ' it was originally ' great unhappy.' 


Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride, 
Or nobly die, the second glorious part, 

(The patriot's God peculiaiiy thou art. 

His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward !) 

never, never Scotia's realm desert; 

But still the patriot, and the patriot bard. 
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard ! 



1 Y/hen chill November's surly bla,st 

Made fields and forests bare. 
One evening, as I wander'd forth 

Along the banks of Ayr, 
I spied a man, whose aged step 

Seem'd weary, worn with care; 
His face was furrow'd o'er with years, 

And hoary was his hair. 

2 ' Young stranger, whither wanderest thou 1 ' 

Began the reverend sage ; 
' Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain. 

Or youthful pleasure's rage ? 
Or haply, press'd with cares and woes. 

Too soon thou hast began 
To wander forth, with me, to mouru 

The miseries of man ' 

124 burns' poems. 

3 ' Tlie sun that everhangs jon moors, 

Out-spreadiug far and wide, 
Wlicre hundreds labour to support 

A hauglity lordling's pride : 
I Ve seen yon weary winter-sun 

Twice forty times return ; 
And every time has added proofs 

That man was made to mourn. 

4 ' man ! wdiile in thy early years. 

How prodigal of time ! 
Mispending all thy precious hours; 

Thy glorious youthful prime ! 
Alternate follies take the sway; 

Licentious passions burn ; 
Which tenfold force gives Nature's law 

That man was made to mourn. 

5 ' Look not alone on youthful prime. 

Or manhood's active might; 
Man then is useful to his kind, 

Supported is liis right : 
But see him on the edge of life, 

With cares and sorrows worn, 
Then age and want — oh ! ill-match'd pair !- 

Show man was made to mourn. 

G ' A few^ seem favourites of fate. 

In pleasure's lap caress'd; 
Yet, think not all the rich and great 

Are likewise truly blest. 
But, oh ! what crowds in every land, 

Are wretched and forlorn; 
Through weary life this lesson learn — 

That man was made to mourn. 


7 ' Many and sharp the numerous ills 

Inwoveu with our frame ! 
More pointed still we make ourselves. 

Regret, remorse, and shame ! 
And man, whose heaven-erected face 

The smiles of love adorn, 
Man's inhumanity to man 

Makes countless thousands mourn ! 

8 ' See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight, 

So abject, mean, and vile. 
Who begs a brother of the earth 

To give him leave to toil; 
And see his lordly fellow-worm 

The poor petition spurn. 
Unmindful, though a weeping wife 

And helpless offspring mourn. 

9 ' If I 'm design'd yon lordling's slave — 

Bv Nature's law desira'd — 
AVhy was an independent wish 

E'er planted in my mind \ 
If not, why am I subject to 

His cruelty or scorn ? 
Or why has man the will and power 

To make his fellow mourn ? 

10 ' Yet, let not this too much, my son, 

Disturb thy youthful breast : 
This partial view of human-kind 

Is surely not the last ! 
The poor, oppressed, honest man. 

Had never, sure, been born. 
Had there not been some recompence 

To comfort those that mourn I 

126 burns' roEMS 

11 '0 Death ! the poor mau's dearest friend 

The kindest and the best ! 
Welcome the hour, my aged limbs 

Are laid witli thee at rest ! 
The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow, 

From pomp and pleasure torn ; 
But, oh ! a blest relief to those 

That weary-laden mourn ! ' 


1 Thou unknown, Almighty Cause 
Of all my hope and fear ! 
In whose dread presence, ere an hour, 
Perhaps I must appear ! 

*2 If I have wander'd in those paths 
Of life I ought to shun — 
As something, loudly, in my breast, 
Remonstrates I have done — 

3 Thou know'st that Thou has formed me 

With passions wild and strong ; 
And listening to their witching voice 
Has often led me wrong. 

4 W^here human weakness has come short, 

Or frailty stept aside, 
Do thou, All-good ! for such thou art, 
In shades of darkness hide. 


5 Where with intention I have err'd, 
No otlicr plea I haye, 
But, Thou art good ; and goodness still 
Dclightetli to forgive. 


1 Why am I loth to leave this earthly scene ? 

Have I so found it full of pleasing charms ? 
Some drops of joj with draughts of ill between : 

Some gleams of sunshine 'mid renewing storms : 
Is it departing pangs mj soul alarms ? 

Or deatli's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ? 
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms ; 
I tremble to approach an angry God, 
And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod. 

2 Fain would I say, ' Forgive my foul oitence ! ' 

Fain promise never more to disobey ; 
But, should my Author health again dispense. 

Again I might desert fair virtue's way : 
Again in folly's path might go astray; 

Again exalt the brute, and sink the man ; 
Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray. 

Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan "? 
AYlio sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation ran "? 

3 Thou, great Governor of all below ! 

If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee, 
Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow, 
Or still the tumult of the raging sea : 

128 burns' POEiis. 

With tliat controlling power assist even me, 
Those headlong furious passions to confine ; 

For all unfit I feel my powers to be, 

To rule their torrent in the allowed lino ; 
Oh, aid me with Thj help, Omnipotence Divine ! 




1 Thou dread Power, who reign'st above ! 

I know Thou wilt me hear : 
AVhen for this scene of peace and love 
I make ray prayer sincere. 

2 The hoary sire — the mortal stroke. 

Long, long, be pleased to spare ! 
To bless his little filial flock, 
And show what good men are. 

3 She, who her lovely offspring eyes 

With tender hopes and fears. 
Oh, bless her with a mother's joys. 
But spare a mother's tears ! 

4 Their hope, their stay, their darling youth, 

In manhood's dawning blush — 
Bless him. Thou God of love and truth, 
Up to a parent's wish I 

1 ( 

Reverend Friend : ' 3Ir Laurie of Loudoun. 


5 The beauteous, seraph sister-band, 

With earnest tears I pray, 
Tliou know'st the snares on every hand — 
Guide Thou their steps alway ! 

6 When soon or late they reach that coast, 

O'er life's rough ocean driven, 
May they rejoice, no wanderer lost, 
A family in heaven ! 


1 The man, in life wherever placed, 

Hath happiness in store, 
Who walks not in the wicked's way, 
Nor learns their guilty lore ! 

2 Nor from the seat of scornful pride 

Casts forth his eyes abroad, 
But with humility and awe 
Still walks before his God. 

3 That man shall flourish like the trees 

Which by the streamlets grow ; 
The fruitful top is spread on high. 
And firm the root below. 

4 But he whose blossom buds in guilt 

Shall to the ground be cast. 
And, like the rootless stubble, tost 
Before tlic sweeping blast. 


5 For why 1 that God the good adore 
Hath given them peace aud rest. 
But hath decreed that wicked men 
Shall ne'er be truly blest. 


1 Thou Great Being ! what Thou art, 

Surpasses me to know : 
Yet sure I am that known to Thee 
Are all Thy works below. 

2 Thy creature here before Thee stands, 

All wretched and distress'd, 
Yet sure tliose ills that wring my soul 
Obey Thy high behest. 

3 Sure Thou, Almighty, canst not act 

From cruelty or wrath 1 
Oh free my weary eyes from tears, 
Or close them fast in death ! 

4 But if I must afflicted be, 

To suit some wise design ; 
Tlien man my soul with firm resolves, 
To bear and not repine ! 




1 Thou, the first, the greatest Friend 

Of all the human race ! 
Whose strong right hand has ever been 
Their stay and dwelling-phice ! 

2 Before the mountains heaved their heads 

Beneath Thy forming hand, 
Before this ponderous globe itself 
Arose at Thy command ; 

3 That power which raised and still upholds 

This universal frame, 
From countless, unbeginning time 
Was ever still the same. 

4 Those mighty periods of years 

Which seem to us so vast. 
Appear no more before Thy sight 
Than yesterday that 's past. 

5 Thou giv'st the word : Thy creature, man. 

Is to existence brought : 
Again Thou say'st, ' Ye sons of men, 
Return ye into nought !' 

6 Thou layest them, with all their cares, 

In everlasting sleep ; 
As with a flood Thou tak'st them oil" 
With overwhelming sweep. 

132 burns' P0E5IS. 

7 Thoy flourisli like the morning flo"W'er, 
In beauty's pride array 'd ; 
But long ere night, cut down, it lies 
All wither'd and decay 'd. 



1 Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower, 
Thou 's met rae in an evil hour ; 
For I maun crush amang the stoure 

Thy slender stem ; 
To spare thee now is past my power, 

Thou bonnie gem I 

2 Alas ! it 's no thy neibour sweet, 
The bonnie lark, companion meet ! 
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet, 

Wi' spreckled breast, 
When upward-springing, blithe, to greet 

The purpling east. 

3 Cauld blew the bitter-biting north 
Upon thy early, humble birth; 
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth 

Amid the storm, 
Scarce rear'd above the parent earth 

Thy tender form. 

4 The flaunting flowers our gardens yield, 
High sheltering woods and wa's maun shield ; 


But thou beneath tlie random bield 

0' clod or stane, 

Adorns the histic stibble-field, 

Unseen, alane. 

5 There, in thj scanty mantle clad, 
Thy snawie bosom sunward spread. 
Thou lifts thy unassuming head 

In humble guise; 
But now the share uptears thy bed, 

And low thou lies ! 

6 Such is the fate of artless maid. 
Sweet floweret of the rural shade ! 
By love's simplicity betray 'd, 

And guileless trust, 
Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid 

Low i' the dust. 

7 Such is the fate of simple bard, 

On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd ! 
Unskilful he to note the card 

Of prudent lore, 
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard, 

And whelm him o'er! 

8 Such fate to suflfering worth is given. 
Who long with wants and woes has striven, 
By human pride or cunning driven 

To misery's brink, 
Till wrench'd of every stay but Heaven, 

He, ruin'd, sink ! 

9 Even thou who mourn'st the daisy's fate, 
That fate is thine — no distant date ; 




Stern Ruin's plougli-sliare drives, elate, 

Full on tlij bloom, 

Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight. 

Shall be thy doom ! 


All hail ! inexorable lord ! 

At whose destruction-breathing word 

The mightiest empires fall ! 
Thy cruel, woe-delighted train. 
The ministers of grief and pain, 

A sullen welcome; all ! 
With stern-resolved, despairing eye, 

I see each aimed dart ; 
For one has cut my dearest tie, 
And quivers in my heart. 
Then lowering, and pouring. 

The storm no more I dread; 
Though thick'uing and black'uing 
Round my devoted head. 

And thou grim Power, by life abhorr'd, 
While life a pleasure can afford, 

Oh ! hear a wretch's prayer ! 
No more I shrink appall'd, afraid ; 
I court, I beg thy friendly aid, 

To close this scene of care ! 
When shall my soul, in silent peace, 

Resign life's joyless day ; 


My weary heart its tlirobbings cease, 
Cold moiild'ring in the clay 1 
No fear more, no tear more, 
To stain my lifeless face ; 
Enclasped, and grasped 
Within thy cold embrace : 

1 1 


JAN. 1, 1787. 

1 Again the silent wheels of Time 

Their annual round have driven, 
And you, though scarce in maiden prime, 
Are so much nearer heaven. 

2 No gifts have I from Indian coasts 

The infant year to hail ; 
I send you more than India boasts 
In Edwin's simple tale. 

3 Our sex with guile and faithless love 

Is charged, perhaps, too true ; 
But may, dear maid, each lover prove 
An Edwin still to you ! 

Miss Logan :' sister of Major Logan, a retired military officer in Ayr. 

136 burns' poems. 


1 I LAXG liac thought, my youthfii' friend, 

A somcthiug to have sent you, 
Though it should serve uae other end 

Thau just a kind momento ; 
But how the subject-theme may gang. 

Let time and chance determine ; 
Perhaps it may turn out a sang, 

Perhaps turn out a sermon. 

2 Ye 11 try the world fu' soon, my lad, 

And, Andrew dear, beheve me. 
Ye '11 find mankind an unco squad. 

And muclde they may grieve ye : 
For care and trouble set your thought, 

E'en when your end 's attain'd ; 
And a' your views may come to nought, 

Where every nerve is strain'd. 

3 I '11 no say, men are villains a' ; 

The real, hardeu'd wicked, 
Wha hae nae check but human law, 

Are to a few restricked ; 
But, och ! mankind are unco weak. 

An' little to be trusted ; 
If self the wavering balance shake. 

It's rarely right adjusted! 

4 Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strife, 

Their fate we should ua censure, 
For still th' important end of life 
They equally may answer : 

' ' Young friend : ' Andrew Aiken, son of Robert Aiken. He became 
British consul in Riga. 


A man may hae an houest heart, 
Thougli poortitli hourly stare him ; 

A man may tak a neibour's part, 
Yet hae nae cash to spare him. 

5 Aye fi'ee, afF han' your story tell. 

When wi' a bosom crony ; 
But still keep something to yoursel' 

Ye scarcely tell to ony. 
Conceal yoursel' as weel 's ye can 

Frae critical dissection ; 
But keek through every other man, 

Wi' sharpen'd, sly inspection, 

6 The sacred lowe o' weel-placed love. 

Luxuriantly indulge it ; 
But never tempt the illicit rove, 

Thoudi naethino- should divulge it : 
I waive the quantum o' the sin, 

The hazard of concealing ; 
But, och ! it hardens a' within, 

And petrifies the feeling ! 

7 To catch dame Fortune's golden smile, 

Assiduous wait upon her ; 
And gather gear by every wile 

That 's justified by honour ; 
Not for to hide it in a hedge. 

Nor for a train-attendant ; 
But for the glorious privilege 

Of being independent. 

8 The fear o' hell 's a hangman's whip 

To haud the wretch in order : 

138 burns' poems. 

But where ye feel your honour grip, 
Let that aye be your border ; 

Its slightest touches, instant pause — 
Debar a' side pretences ; 

And resolutely keep its laws, 
Uncaring consequences. 

9 The great Creator to revere 

Must sure become the creature ; 
But still the preaching cant forbear, 

And e'en the rigid feature ; 
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range, 

Be complaisance extended ; 
An Atheist's laugh 's a poor exchange 

For Deity offended. 

10 When ranting round in pleasure's ring, 

Religion may be blinded ; 
Or if she 2;ie a random stinsf, 

It may be little minded ; 
But when on life we're tempest-driven, 

A conscience but a canker, 
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heaven, 

Is sure a noble anchor ! 

11 Adieu, dear, amiable youth! 
Your heart can ne'er be wanting ; 

May prudence, fortitude, and truth. 
Erect your brow undaunting ! 

In ploughman phrase, ' God send you speed,' 
Still daily to grow wiser ! 

And may you better reck the rede, 
Than ever did the adviser ! 




1 A' YE wha live bj sowps o' drink, 
A' je wlia live bj crambo-clink, 
A' ye wha live and never tliink, 

Come mourn wi' me ! 
Our billie 's gi'en us a' a jink, 

And owre the sea. 

2 Lament him, a' je ran tin' core, 
Wha dearly like a random-splore, 
Nae raair he 'II join the merry roar, 

In social key ; 
For now he 's ta'en anither shore, 
And owre the sea ! 

S The bonnie lasses weel may wiss him, 
And in their dear petitions place him : 
The widows, wives, and a' may bless him, 

Wi tearfu' e'e ; 
For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him 

That 's owre the sea. 

4 Fortune, they hae room to grumble ! 
Hadst thou ta'en aff some drowsy bummle, 
Wha can do nought but fyke an' fumble, 

'Twad been nae plea ; 
But he was gleg as ony wumble, 

That 's owre the sea. 


5 Aulcl, cantie Kyle may weepers wear, 
And stain them wi' the saiit, saiit tear, 
^Twill niak her poor anld heart, I fear, 

In flinders flee ; 
He was lier laureate mony a year, 

That 's owrc the sea. 

6 lie saw misfortune's cauld uor-wast 
Lang mustering up a bitter blast ; 
A jillet brak his heart at last, 

III may she be ! 
So took a berth afore the mast, 

And owre the sea. 

7 To tremble under Fortune's cummock, 
On scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock, 
Wi' his proud, independent stomach 

Could ill agree ; 
So, row't his hurdles in a hammock. 
An' owre the sea. 

8 He ne'er was gi'en to great misguiding, 
Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in ; 
Wi' him it ne'er was under hiding — 

He dealt it free : 
The Muse was a' that he took pride in. 
That 's owre the sea. 

9 Jamaica bodies, use him weel. 
And hap him in a cozie biel : 
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel. 

And foil' o' glee ; 
He wad na \Trang'd the vera Deil, 
That 's owre the sea. 


10 Fareweel, my rlijme-composiDg billie ! 
Your native soil was right ill-willie ; 
But may ye flourish Hkc a lily, 
Now bonnilie ! 
I'll toast ye in my hinmost gillie, 

Though owre the sea. 


1 Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the puddiu'-race ! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 

Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
ATeel are ye worthy of a grace 

As lang 's my arm. 

2 The groaning trencher there ye fill, 
Your hurdles like a distant hill, 
Your pin wad help to mend a mill 

In time o' need, 
AVhile through your pores the dews distil 
Like amber bead. 

3 His knife see rustic labour dight, 
And cut you up wi' ready slight, 
Trenching your gushing entrails bright, 

Like ony ditch; 
And then, oh what a glorious sight, 
Warm-reekin', rich ! 

4 Then horn for horn they stretch and strive, 
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive. 

142 burns' poems. 

Till a' their weel-SAvall'd kytes belyve 
Are bent like drums ; 

Then auld guidiuaii, maist like to rjve, 
' Betbankit' bums. 

5 Is tberc tbat o'er liis Frencb ragout. 
Or olio that wad staw a sow, 

Or fricassee wad mak her spew 

Wi' perfect scunner, 

Looks down wi' sneering, scorufu' view. 
On sic a dinner 'i 

6 Poor devil ! see him owre his trash 
As feckless as a witber'd rash, 

His spindle shank a guid whip lash. 
His nieve a nit ; 

Through bloody flood or field to dash, 
how unfit ! 


But mark the rustic, haggis-fed. 

The trembling earth resounds his tread, 

Clap in his walie nieve a blade. 

He '11 mak it whissle ; 
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sued, 

Like taps o' thrissle. 

8 Ye Powers, wha mak mankind your care. 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware 

That jaups in luggies ; 
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer, 

Gie her a haggis ! 



Expect na, Sir, in this narration, 

A fleecbiu', fietlirin' dedication, 

To roose jou up, an' ca' you guid, 

An' sprung o' great an' noble bluid, 

Because je 're suruamed like his Grace,^ 

Perhaps related to the race ; 

Then when I 'ra tired, and sae are ye, 

Wi' mony a fulsome, sinfu' lie. 

Set up a face, how I stop short, 

For fear your modesty be hurt. lo 

This may do — maun do. Sir, wi' them wha 
Maun please the great folk for a wamefii' ; 
For me, sae laigh I needna bow, 

For, L be thankit, I can plough : 

And when I downa yoke a naig, 

Then, L be thankit, I can beg ; 

Sae I shall say, an' that's nae flatt'rin', 
It's just sic poet, an' sic patron. 

The Poet, some guid angel help him, 
Or else, I fear some ill ane skelp him, 20 

He may do weel for a' he 's done yet, 
But only he 's no just begun yet. 

The Patron, (Sir, ye maun forgie me, 
I winna lie, come what will 0' me), 
On every hand it will allow'd be. 
He 's just — nae better than he should be. 

I I'cadily and freely grant. 
He downa see a poor man want ; 
What 's no his ain he winna tak it. 
What ance he says he winna brak it ; 

1 ( 

Ilis Grace : ' the Duke of Hamilton. 

144 burns' poems. 

Ought he can lend he '11 no refuse 't, 31 

Till aft his guidness is abused ; 

And rascals whjles that do him wrang, 

Even that, he does na mind it lang : 

As master, landlord, husband, father, 

He does na fail his part in either. 

But then, nae thanks to him for a' that ; 
Nae godly symptom ye can ca' that; 
It 's nacthing but a milder feature, 
Of our poor, sinfu', corrupt nature : 40 

Ye '11 get the best 0' moral works, 
'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks, 
Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi, 
Wha never heard of Orthodoxy. 
That he 's the poor man's friend in need, 
The gentleman in word and deed. 
It 's no through terror of damnation ; 
It's just a carnal inclination. 

Morality, thou deadly bane. 
Thy tens 0' thousands thou hast slain ! 50 

Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is 
In moral mercy, truth, and justice ! 

No — stretch a point to catch a plack ; 
Abuse a brother to his back ; 

Steal throuo;h a winnock frae a w , 

But point the rake that taks the door : 

Be to the poor like ony whunstane. 

And hand their noses to the grunstane ; 

Ply every art 0' legal thieving ; 

No matter — stick to sound behoving ! 60 

Learn three-mile prayers, an' half-mile graces, 
Wi' weel-spread looves, and lang wry faces ; 
Grunt up a solemn, lengthen'd groan. 
And damn a' parties but your own ; 


1 11 warrant then, ye 're nae deceiver, 65 

A steady, sturdy, staunch believer. 

ye wha leave the springs of Calvin, 
For giimlie dubs of your ain delvin' ! 
Ye sons of heresy and error, 
Ye 11 some day squeel in quaking terror ! 7u 
When Vengeance draws the sword in wrath, 
x\nd in the fire throws the sheath; 
When Ruin, with his sweeping besom. 
Just frets till Heaven commission gies him : 
While o'er the harp pale Misery moans, 
And strikes the ever deepening tones, 
Still louder shrieks, and heavier groans ! 

Your pardon. Sir, for this digression, 
I maist forgat my dedication; 
But when divinity comes 'cross me, 80 

My readers still are sure to lose me. 

So, Sir, ye see 'twas nae daft vapour, 
But I maturely thought it proper. 
When a' my works I did review. 
To dedicate them. Sir, to you : 
Because (ye need na tak it ill) 
I thought them something like yoursel'. 

Then patronise tliem wi' your favour. 
And your petitioner shall ever — 
I had amaist said, ever pray, 90 

But that 's a word I need na say : 
For pray in' I hae little skill o't ; 
I 'm baith dead-sweer, an' wretched ill o 't ; 
But I 'se repeat each poor man's prayer, 
Tliat kens or hears about you. Sir — 
' May ne'er misfortune's gowling bark. 
Howl through the dwelling o' tlic Clerk ! 


14G burns' poems. 

May ne'er liis generous, honest heart, 98 

For that same generous spirit smart ! 

May Kennedy's far-honour'd name 

Lang beet his hymeneal flame, 

Till Ilamiltons, at least a dizen, 

Are frae their nuptial labours risen : 

Five bonnie lasses round their table. 

And seven braw fellows, stout an' able 

To serve their king and country wcel, 

By word, or pen, or pointed steel ! 

;May health and peace, with mutual rays, 

Shine on the evening o' his days ; 

Till his wee curlie John 's ier-oe, no 

When ebbing life nae mair shall flow, 

The last, sad, mournful rites bestow !' 

I will not w^ind a lang conclusion, 
Wi' complimentary effusion : 
But whilst your wishes and endeavours 
Are blest with Fortune's smiles and favours, 
I am, dear Sir, with zeal most fervent, 
Your much indebted, humble servant. 

But if (which Powers above prevent !) 
That iron-hearted carl. Want, 120 

Attended in his grim advances, 
By sad mistakes and black mischances. 
While hopes, and joys, and pleasures fly him. 
Make you as poor a dog as 1 am. 
Your humble servant then no more ; 
For who would humbly serve the poor^ 
But by a poor man's hopes in Heaven ! 
While recollection's power is given. 
If, in the vale of humble life, 
The victim sad of fortune's strife, iso 



1 Edina ! Scotia's darling seat ! 

All hail tlij palaces and towers, 
Where once beneath a monarch's feet 

Sat Legislation's sovereign powers ! 
From marking ^YildlJ-scatter'd flowers, 

As on the banks of Ayr I stray 'd, 
And singing, lone, the lingering hours, 

I shelter in thy honour'd shade. 

2 Here wealth still swells the golden tide. 

As busy Trade his labour plies; 
There Architecture's noble pride 

Bids elegance and splendour rise ; 
Here Justice from her native skies, 

High wields her balance and her rod; 
There Learning, with his eagle eyes, 

Seeks Science in her coy abode. 

3 Thy sons, Edina ! social, kind, 

With open arms the stranger hail; 
Their views enlarged, their liberal mind, 

Above the narrow, rural vale ; 
Attentive still to sorrow's wail. 

Or modest merit's silent claim ; 
And never may their sources fail ! 

And never envy blot their name ! 

4 Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn, 

Gay as the gilded summer sky, 
Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn, 
Dear as the raptured thrill of joy! 

150 BUENS' rOEMS. 

Fair Burnet^ strikes tlic adoring cjc, 
Heaven's beauties on my fancy sliinc ; 

I see the Sire of Love on high, 
And own his ^vork indeed divine ! 

5 Tlicre, ■watching liigh the least alarms, 

Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar; 
Like some bold veteran, gray in arms, 

And mark'd "with many a beamy scar; 
The ponderous wall and massy bar, 

Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock, 
Have oft withstood assailing war, 

And oft rcpell'd the invader's shock. 

G With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears, 

I view that uoble, stately dome. 
Where Scotia's kings of other years. 

Famed heroes ! had their royal home : 
Alas ! how changed the times to come I 

Their royal name low in the dust ! 
Their hapless race wild-wandering roam. 

Though rigid law cries out, 'twas just ! 

7 AVild beats my heart to trace your steps, 

AVhose ancestors, in days of yore, 
Through hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps 

Old Scotia's bloody Lion bore ; 
E'en I M'ho sing in rustic lore. 

Haply, my sires have left their shed, 
And faced grim Danger's loudest roar. 

Bold-following m here your fathers led ! 

8 Edina ! Scotia's darling seat ! 

All hail thy palaces and towers, 

' ' Burnet : ' Eliza, daughter of Lord MonbodJo. 


Where once beneath a inoiiardi's feet 
Sat Legislation's sovereign powers ! 

From marking wildlj-scatter'd flowers, 
As on the banks of Ayr I stray 'd, 

And singing, lone, the lingering hours, 
I shelter'd in thy houour'd shade. 



APEIL 1, 1785, 

1 While briars and woodbines budding green, 
An' paitricks scraichin' loud at e'en, 

An' morning poussie whiddin' seen, 

Inspire my Muse, 

This freedom in an unknown frien' 

I pray excuse. 

2 On Fasten-e'en ^ we had a rockin'. 

To ca' the crack and weave our stockin' ; 
And there was muckle fun an' jokin'. 

Ye need na doubt ; 
At length we had a hearty yokin' 

At sang about. 

3 There was ae sang, amang the rest, 
Aboon them a' it pleased me best, 
That some kind husband had address'd 

To some sweet wife : 
It thirled the heart-strings through the breast, 

A' to the life. 

' ' Lapraik : ' an old iliymstcr, residing in Miiirkiik. Tlie song tliat 
pleased Burns was borrowed from an old ditty. — - ' Fasten-e'eu : ' Shrovetide, 
a festival that used to be religiously held in Scotland. 

1/52 burns' poems. 

4 I 've scarce beard ouglit described sae Avecl 
Wbat generous, manly bosoms feel ; 
Thoiigbt I, ' Can tbis be Pope, or Steele, 

Or Beattie's wark V 
Tbey taiild me 'twas an odd kind cbiel 

About Muirkirk. 

5 It pat me fidgin'-fain to bear % 
And sae about bim tbere I spier 't, 
Tben a' tbat ken't bim round declared 

He bad ingine, 
Tbat nane excell'd it, few cam near % 

It was sae fine ; 

G Tbat, set bim to a pint of ale, 
And eitber douce or merry tale, 
Or rbymes an' sangs be 'd made bimsel', 

Or witty catcbes, 
'Tween Inverness and Teviotdale, 

He bad few matcbes. 

7 Tben up I gat, and swore an aitb, 

Tbougb I sbould pawn my pleugb and graitb, 
Or die a cadger pownie's deatb 

At some dyke back, 
A pint and gill I 'd gie tbem baitb 

To bear your crack. 

8 But, first and foremost, I sbould tell, 
Amaist as soon as I could spell, 

■ I to tbe crambo-jingle fell, 

Tbougb rude and rougb, 
Yet crooning to a body's sel'. 

Does weel eneugb. 


9 I am na poet, in a sense, 

But just a rhymer, like, by chance, 
And hae to learning nae pretence. 

Yet, what the matter 1 
Whene'er my Muse does on me glance, 

I jingle at her, 

10 Your critic-folk may cock their nose, 
And say, ' How can you e'er propose, 
You, wha ken hardly verse frae prose, 

To mak a sang 1 ' 
But, by your leaves, my learned foes, 
• Ye 're maybe wrang. 

1 1 What 's a' your jargon o' your schools. 
Your Latin names for horns an' stools ; 
If honest Nature made you fools, 

What sairs your grammars 1 
Ye 'd better ta'cn up spades and shools. 

Or knappin'-hammers. 

12 A set o' dull, conceited hashes, 
Confuse their brains in college classes ! 
They gang in stirks, and come out asses, 

Plain truth to speak ; 
And syne they think to climb Parnassus 

By dint o' Greek ! 

1 3 Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire ! 
That 's a' the learning I desire ; 

Then though I trudge, through dub an' mire 

At plough or cai't, 

My Muse, though hamely in attire. 

May touch the heart. 

i / 



14 oil ! for a spunk o' Allan's glee, 
Or Fergusson's, the bauld and sice, 
Or bi'iglit Lapraik's, my friend to be, 

If I can hit it ! 
That ^vould be lear eneugh for me. 

If I could get it ! 

15 Now, Sir, if ye hae friends enow, 
Though real friends, I b'licve, are few. 
Yet, if your catalogue be fu', 

I 'se no insist, 
But gif ye want ae friend that 's true, 

I 'm on your list. 

16 1 winna blaw about mysel' ; 
As ill I like my fauts to tell ; 

But friends, and folk that wish me weel. 

They sometimes roose me ; 

Though I maun own, as mony still 

As far abuse me. 

1 7 There 's ae wee faut they whyles lay to me, 
I like the lasses — Gude forgie me ! 

For mony a plack tbey wheedle frae me, 

At dance or fair ; 

Maybe some itlier thing they gie me 

They weel can spare. 

IS But Mauchline race, or Mauchline fair, 
I should be proud to meet you there ; 
We 'se gie ae night's discharge to care. 

If we forgather. 
And hae a swap o' rhymin'-ware 

W ane anither. 


19 The four-gill chap, we'se gar him clatter, 
And kirsen him wi' reekiii' water; 

Svne "we '11 sit down and tak our whitter, 

To cheer our heart ; 

And faith,, we'se be acquainted better 

Before ^ve part. 

20 Awa, je selfish, warlj race, 

Wha think that havins, sense, and grace, 
Even love an' friendship, should give place 

To catch-the-plack ! 
I dinna like to see jour face, 

Nor hear your crack. 

21 But ye whom social pleasure charms, 
Whose hearts the tide of kindness warms, 
Who hold your being on the terms, 

' Each aid the others,' 
Come to my bowl, come to my arms. 

My friends, my brothers ! 

22 But, to conclude my lang epistle. 

As my auld pen's worn to the grissle: 
Tvv'a lines frae you wad gar me fissle, 

Who am, most fervent, 
While I can either sing, or whissle. 

Your friend and servant. 

156 BUKXS' rOEMS. 


AVWUj 21, 1785. 

1 While n^^v-ca'd kye rowtc at the stake, 
An' pownies reck in pleugli or braik, 
This hour on e'eniivs edge I take, 

To own I 'in debtor 
To honest-hearted, auld Lapraik, 

For his kind letter. 

2 Forjesket sair, wi' weary legs, 
Rattlin' the corn outowre the rigs, 
Or dealing through araang the naigs 

Their ten-hours' bite, 
My awkward Muse sair pleads and begs, 

I would na write. 

3 The tapetless rarafeezled hizzie, 

She 's saft at best, and something lazy, 
Quo' she, ' Ye ken, we 've been sae busy 

This mouth an' mair, 
That, trouth ! my head is grown right dizzie. 

An' something sair.' 


4 Her dowff excuses pat me mad : 

* Conscience,' says I, ' ye thowless jad ! 
I '11 write, and that a hearty blaud. 

This vera night; 

So dinna ye affront your trade. 

But rhyme it right. 

5 ' Shall bauld Lapraik, the king o' hearts. 
Though mankind were a pack o' cartes. 


Ptoose you sae weel for your deserts, 

In terms sae friendly, 

Yet ye '11 neglect to sliaw your parts, 

An' thank him kindly 1 ' 

6 Sae I gat paper in a blink, 

And down gaed stumpie in the ink : 
Quoth I, ' Before I sleep a wink, 

I vow I '11 close it ; 
And if ye winna mak it clink. 

By Jove, I '11 prose it ! ' 

7 Sae I 've begun to scrawl, but whether 
In rhyme, or prose, or baith thegither, 

Or some hotch-potch that 's rightly neither. 

Let time mak proof; 

But I shall scribble down some blether 

Just clean aff-loof. 

8 My worthy friend, ne'er grudge an' carp. 
Though fortune use you hard an' sharp ; 
Come, kittle up your moorland harp 

Wi' gleesome touch ! 
Ne'er mind how fortune waft an' warp — 

She 's but a b . 

9 She 's gien me mony a jirt an' fleg, 
Sin' I could striddle owre a rig; 

But, by the L , though I should beg, 

Wi' lyart pow, 
I '11 laugh, an' sing, an' shake my leg. 

As lang 's I dow ! 

10 Now comes the sax-and-twentieth simmer, 
I 've seen the bud upo' the timmer, 


Still persecuted bj the limnicr 

Frae year to year ; 

But yet, despite the kittle kimmer, 

I, Rob, am here. 

1 1 Do ye envy the city gcut, 
Behint a kist to lie and sklent, 

Or purse-proud, big wi' cent, per cent. 

And muckle wame, 
In some bit brugh to represent 

A bailie's name 1 


12 Or is 't the paughty, feudal Thane, 
Wi' ruffled sark and glancing cane, 

Wha thinks himsel' nae sheep-shank bane, 

But lordly stalks, 

While caps and bonnets alF are taen. 

As by he walks 1 

13 Thou, wha gies us each guid gift ! 
Gie me o' wit an' sense a lift, 
Then turn me, if Thou please, adrift 

Through Scotland wide, 
Wi' cits nor lairds I w^adna shift. 

In a' their pride ! 

1 4 Were this the charter of our state, 
' On pain o' hell be rich an' great,' 
Damnation then would be our fate, 

Beyond remead ; 
But, thanks to Heaven ! that 's no the gate 

We learn our creed. 

15 For thus the royal mandate ran. 
When first the human race began. 


' The social, friendly, honest man, 

Whate'er he be, 
'Tis he fulfils great Nature's plan, 

An' none but he !' 

16 Oh mandate glorious and divine ! 
The ragged followers of the Nine, 
Poor, thoughtless devils ! yet may shine 

In glorious light, 
While sordid sons of Mammon's line 

Are dark as nisht. 


17 Though here they scrape, and squeeze, and growl, 
Their worthless nievefu' of a soul 

Mav in some future carcase howl 

The forest's fright ; 

Or in some day-detesting owl 

May shun the light. 

18 Then may Lapraik and Burns arise. 
To reach their native, kindred skies, 
And sing their pleasures, hopes, and joys. 

In some mild sphere. 
Still closer knit in friendship's ties, 

Each passing year ! 

I ( 


MAY, 1785. 

1 I GAT your letter, winsome Willie ; 
Wi' gratcfu' heart I thank you brawl ie ; 

Simpson : ' parish teaclier in Cumnock ; a ni:in of considerable talent. 

IGO burns' poems. 

Though I inaiiii say 't, I Avad be silly, 

And unco vain, 
Should I believe, my coaxin' billie, 

Your flatterin' strain. 

2 But I 'se believe ye kindly meant it, 
I sud be laith to think ye hinted 
Ironic satire, sidclins sklented 

On my poor Musie ; 
Though in sic phraisin' terms ye Ve penn'd it, 

I scarce excuse ye. 

3 My senses wad be in a creel, 
Slioidd I but dare a hope to speel, 
Wi' Allan, or wi' Gilbertfield,i 

The braes o' fame ; 
Or Fergusson, the uriter-chiel, 

A deathless name. 

4 (0 Fergusson ! thy glorious parts 
111 suited Law's dry, musty arts ! 

My curse upon your whunstane hearts, 

Ye E'nbrugh gentry ! 

The tithe o' what ye waste at cartes, 

Wad stow'd his pantry !) 

5 Yet when a tale comes i' my head. 
Or lasses gie my heart a screed, 

As whyles they 're like to be my dead, 

(Oh sad disease !) 

I kittle up my rustic reed ; 

It gies me ease. 

' ' Gilbertfield : ' William Hamilton, a poet contemporary with Allan 


6 Aiild Coila, now, may fidge fu' fain, 
She 's gotten poets o' her ain, 
Chiels wha their chanters winna hain, 

But tune their lays, 
Till echoes a' resound again 

Iler weel-sung praise. 

7 Nae poet thought her worth his while, 
To set her name in measured style ; 
She lay like some unkenn'd-of isle 

Beside New Holland, 
Or whare wild-meeting oceans boil 

Be-south Magellan. 


8 Ramsay and famous Fergusson 
Gaed Forth an' Tay a lift aboon ; 
Yarrow and Tweed, to mony a tune, 

Owre Scotland rings, 
While Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, and Doon, 

Naebody sings. 

9 The missus, Tiber, Thames, an' Seine, 
Glide sweet in mony a tunefu' line ; 
But, Willie, set your fit to mine, 

An' cock your crest. 
We '11 gar our streams and burnies shine 

Up wi' the best! 

10 We '11 sing auld Coila's plains an' fells, 
Ilcr moors red-brown wi' heather bells, 
Ilcr banks an' braes, her dens an' dells, 

Where glorious Wallace 
Aft bure the grce, as story tells, 

Frae southron billies. 

162 burns' poems. 

1 1 At Wallace' name what Scottish blood 
But boils up in a spring-tide flood ! 
Oft have our fearless fathers strode 

By Wallace' side, 
Still pressing onward, red-wat-^iod, 

Or glorious died ! 

1 2 Oh ! sweet are Coila's haughs an' woods, 
When lintwhites chant amang the buds, 
And jinkin' hares, in amorous winds. 

Their loves enjoy, 
While through the brae the cushat croods 

With wailfu' cry ! 

13 Even whiter bleak has charms to me 
When winds rave through the naked tree ; 
Or frosts on hills of Ochiltree 

Are hoary gray ; 
Or blinding drifts, wild, furious flee. 

Darkening the day ! 

14 Nature ! a' thy shows an' forms 

To feeling, pensive hearts hae charms ! 
Whether the summer kindly warms 

Wi' life and light. 
Or winter howls, in gusty storms, 

The lang, dark night ! 

15 The Muse, nae poet ever fand her, 
Till by himsel' he learn'd to wander, 
Adown some trottin' burn's meander, 

And no think lang ; 
Oh sweet, to stray and pensive ponder 

A heart-felt sang ! 


16 The war'lj race may drudge an' drive, 
Hoo"-sliouther, jundie, stretch, and strive ; 
Let me fair Nature's face descrive. 

And I, wi' pleasure, 
Shall let the busy, grumbling hive 

Bum owre their treasure. 

1 7 Fareweel, ' my rhyme-composing brither ! ' 
We 've been owre lang unkenn'd to ither : 
Now let us lay our heads thegither, 

In love fraternal: 
May Envy wallop in a tether, 

Black fiend, infernal 1 

18 While Highlandmen hate tolls and taxes ; 
While moorlau' herds like guid fat braxies ; " 
While terra firma, on her axis, 

Diurnal turns. 
Count on a friend, in faith an' practice, 

In Robert Burns. 


19 My memory's no worth a preen ; 
I had amaist forgotten clean, 

You bade me write you what they mean 

By this New-Light, 

'Bout which our herds sae aft have been 

Maist like to fight. 

20 In days when mankind were but callans 
At grammar, logic, an' sic talents, 

They took nac pains their speech to balance, 

Or rules to gic. 
But spak their thoughts in plain, braid Lallans, 

Like you or nic. 

164 burns' poems. 

21 In tliac auld times, thcj thonglit the moon, 
Just like a sark, or pair o' shoon, 

Wore by degrees, till her last roon 

Gaed past their viewing, 

And shortly after slie was done. 

They gat a new one. 

22 This past for certain, undisputed ; 

It ne'er cam i' their heads to doubt it, 
Till chiels gat np an' wad confute it, 

And ca'd it wrang ; 
And muckle din there was about it, 

Baith loud and lancr, 

23 Some herds, well Icarn'd upo' the beuk, 
Wad threap auld folk the thing mistcuk ; 
For 'twas the auld moon turn'd a neuk. 

An' out o' sight, 
And backlins-comin', to the leuk. 

She grew mair bright. 

24 This was denied — it was affirm'd ; 
The herds an' hirsels were alarm'd : 

The reverend gray -beards raved an' storm'd 

That beardless laddies 

Should think they better were inform'd 

Than their auld daddies. 

25 Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks ; 
Frae words an' aiths to clours an' nicks ; 
And mony a fallow gat his licks, 

Wi' hearty crunt ; 
And some, to learn them for their tricks, 

Were hang'd an' brunt. 

TO ^y. SIMPSON, ochiltree. 165 

26 This game was plaj'd in mony lands, 
And Auld-Light caddies bare sic bauds, 
That, faith ! the youngsters took the sands, 

Wi' nimble shanks. 
Till lairds forbade, by strict commands. 

Sic bluidy pranks. 

27 But New-Light herds gat sic a cowe, 
Folk thought them ruin'd stick-an'-stowe, 
Till now araaist on every knowe 

Ye '11 find ane placed ; 
And some their New-Light fair avow, 

Just quite barefaced. 

28 Nae doubt the Auld-Light flocks arc bleatin' ; 
Their zealous herds are vex'd an' sweatin' ; 
Mysel' I 've even seen them greetin' 

Wi' girnin' spite, 
To hear the moon sae sadly lied on 

By word an' write. 

29 But shortly they will cowe the louns I 
Some Auld-Light herda in neibour towns 
Are mind't, in things they ca' balloons, 

To tak a flight. 
And stay a month amang the moons, 

An' see them right. 

30 Guid observation they will gie them ; 

And when the auld moon's gaun to lea'c them, 
The hindmost shaird, they '11 fetch it wi' them, 

Just i' their pouch. 
And when the New-Light billies sec them, 

I think they '11 crouch ! 

1G6 burns' poems. 

31 Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter 
Is Tiaething but a ' moonshine matter ; ' 
But though dull prose-folk Latin splatter 

In lojiic tulzie, 
I hope, we bardies ken some better 

Than mind sic brulzie. 



1 ROUGH, rude, ready-witted Rankine, 
The wale o' cocks for fun and drinkin' ! 
There's mouy godly folks are thinkin', 

Your dreams ^ an' tricks 
"Will send you, Korah-like, a-sinkin', 

Straudit to Auld Nick's. 

2 Ye hae sae mony cracks and cants, 
And in your wicked, drucken rants, 
Ye mak a devil o' the saunts, 

And fill them fu' : 
And then their failings, flaws, an' wants, 

Are a' seen through. 

3 Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it ! 
That holy robe, oh dinna tear it ! 

' ' Dreams : ' a certain humorous dream of bis was tlien making a noise in 
the countryside. — B. Rankine was a farmer in Adamhill, near Lochlea, a 
boon companion of Burns. 


Spare 't for their sakes wlia aften wear it, 

The lads in black ! 

But jour curst wit, when it comes near it, 

Rives 't afF their back. 

4 Think, wicked sinner, wha ye 're skaithing, 
It 's just the blue-gown ^ badge and claithing 
0' saunts; tak that, je lea'e them naithing 

To ken them hy, 
Frae onj unregenerate heathen 

Like you or I. 

5 I 've sent you here some rhyming ware, 
A' that I bargain'd for, and mair; 
Sae, when ye hae an hour to spare, 

I will expect 
Yon sang,2 ye '11 sen 't wi' cannie care, 

And no neglect. 


6 Though, faith 1 sma' heart hae I to sing, 
My Muse dow scarcely spread her wing; 
I 've play'd mysel' a bonnie spring, 

And danced my fill ! 
I 'd better o-aen an' sair'd the king 

At Bunker's Hill, 

7 'Twas ae night lately, in my fun, 
I gaed a roving wi' the gun, 

And brought a paitrick to the grun', 

A bonnie hen, 
And, as the twilight was begun, 

Thought nane wad ken. 

' ' Blue-gown : ' see ' Antiquary.' — ^ ' Yon sang : ' a song he had pfomisc«l 
to the author, — B. 

1G8 burns' poems. 

S TliC poor wee thing was little hurt ; 
I straikit it a wee for sport, 
Ne'er thinkin' they wad fash me for 't ; 

But, cleil-ma-care ! 
Somebody tells the poaclier-court 

The hale affair. 

9 Some auld used hands had ta'en a note, 
That sic a hen had got a shot; 
I was suspected for the plot ; 

I scorn'd to lie ; 
So gat the whissle o' my groat, 

An' pay't the fee. 

1 But, by my gun, o' guns the wale. 
And by my pouther an' my hail, 
And by my hen, and by her tail, 

I Yow an' swear ! 
The game shall pay o'er moor an' dale, 

For this, ueist year. 

11 As soon 's the clockin'-time is by. 
And the wee pouts begun to cry, 
L , I 'se hae sportiu' by an' by, 

For my gowd guinea : 
Though I should herd the buckskin kye 

For't, in Virginia. 

12 Trowth, they had muckle for to blame ! 
'Twas neither broken wing nor limb. 
But twa-three draps about the wame 

Scarce through the feathers ; 
And baith a yellow George to claim, 

And thole their blethers ! 


13 It pits me aye as mad's a liare; 
So I can rhyme nor write nae mair; 
But pennyworths again is fair, 

When time 's expedient ; 
Meanwhile I am, respected Sir, 

Your most obedient. 


1 There were three kings into the east, 

Three kings both great and high; 
And they hae sworn a solemn oath 
John Barleycorn should die. 

2 They took a plough and plough'd him down, 

Put clods upon his head; 
And they hae sworn a solemn oath 
John Barleycorn was dead. 

3 But the cheerful spring came kindly on. 

And showers began to fall; 
John Barleycorn got up again, 
And sore surprised them all. 

4 The sultry suns of summer came. 

And he grew thick and strong, 
His head wccl arm'd wi' pointed spears, 
That no one should him wrong. 

' 'Jolin Barleycorn:' tliis is partly composed on the plan of an old song 
known by the same name.— L'. 


5 The sober autumn eutcr'd mild. 

When he grew wan and pale ; 
Ilis bending joints and drooping head 
Show'd he began to fail. 

6 His colour sicken'd more and more, 

He faded into age ; 
And then his enemies began 
To show their deadly rage. 


They've taen a weapon, long and sharp, 

And cut him by the knee ; 
Then tied hira fast upon a cart, 

Like a rogue for forgerie. 

8 They laid him down upon his back, 

And cudgell'd him full sore ; 
They hung him up before the storm, 
And turn'd him o'er and o'er. 

9 They filled up a darksome pit 

With water to the brim ; 
They heaved in John Barleycorn, 
There let him sink or swim. 

10 They laid him out upon the floor, 

To work him farther woe ; 
And still, as signs of life appear'd, 
They toss'd him to and fro. 

11 They wasted, o'er a scorching flame, 

The marrow of his bones ; 
But a miller used him worst of all, 

For he crush'd him between two stones. 


12 And the J liae ta'en his very heart's blood, 

And drank it round and round; 
And still the more and more they drank, 
Their joy did more abound. 

13 John Barleycorn was a hero bold, 

Of noble enterprise ; 
For if you do but taste his blood, 
Twill make your courage rise. 

14 'Twill make a man forget his woe; 

Twill heighten all his joy : 
Twill make the widow's heart to sing, 
Though the tear were in her eye. 

1.5 Then let us toast John Barleycorn, 
Each man a glass in hand; 
And may his great posterity 
Ne'er fail in old Scotland ! 


Tune — ' Killiecrankie.' 

When Guildford good our pilot stood. 

And did our helm thraw, man, 
Ae night, at tea, began a plea. 

Within America, man : 
Then up they gat the maskin'-pat. 

And in the sea did jaw, man ; 
And did nae less, in full Congress, 

Tlian quite refuse our law, man. 


2 Then tlirougli the lakes Montgomery takes, 

I wat he was iia sla^y, man : 
Down Lowrie's burn he took a turn, 

And Carlcton did ca', man : 
But yet, what reck, lie at Quebec, 

Montgomery-like, did fa', man ; 
Wi' sword in hand, before his band, 

Amang his enemies a', man. 

3 Voor Tammy Gage, within a cage 

Was kept at Boston Ha', man ; 
Till Willie Howe took o'er the knowc 

For Philadelphia, man : 
Wi' sword an' gun he thought a sin 

Guid Christian blood to draw, man ; 
But at New York, \i\ knife an' fork, 

Sirloin he hacked sma', man, 

4 Burgoyne gaed up, like spur an' whip, 

Till Fraser brave did fa', man ; 
Then lost his way, ae misty day, 

In Saratoga shaw, man, 
Cornwallis fought as lang's he dought. 

And did the buckskins claw, man ; 
But Clinton's glaive frae rust to save. 

He hung it to the wa', man. 

5 Then Montague, an' Guildford too, 

Began to fear a fa', man ; 
And Sackville dour, wha stood the stoure, 

The German Chief to thraw, man : 
For Paddy Burke, like ony Turk, 

Nae mercy had at a', man; 
And Charlie Fox threw by the box. 

And lowsed his tinkler jaw, man. 


6 Then Rockingham took up the game ; 

Till death did on him ca', man ; 
When Shelbiirne meek held up his cheek. 

Conform to Gospel law, man. 
Saint Stephen's boys, wi' jarring noise, 

They did his measures thraw, man, 
For North an' Fox united stocks, 

And bore him to the wa', man. 

7 Then clubs and hearts were Charlie's cartes. 

He swept the stakes awa', man, 
Till the diamond's ace, of Indian race. 

Led him a ssdr faux pas, man: 
The Saxon lads, wi' loud placads. 

On Chatham's boy did ca', man ; 
An' Scotland drew her pipe, an' blew 

' Up, Willie, waur them a', man ! ' 

8 Behind the throne then Grenville 's gone, 

A secret word or twa, man ; 
While slee Dundas aroused the class 

Be-north the Roman wa', man : 
And Chatham's wraith, in heavenly graith, 

(Inspired Bardies saw, man) 
Wi' kindling eyes cried, ' Willie, rise ! 

Would I hae fear'd them a', man '? ' 

9 But, word an' blow, North, Fox, and Co., 

GowfF'd Willie like a ba', man. 
Till Southron raise, and coost their claise 

Behind him in a raw, man ; 
And Caledon threw by the drone, 

And did her whittle draw, man ; 
And swore fu' rude, through dirt an' blood. 

To make it guid in law, man. 

174 burns' poems. 


Tune — * Corn rigs are bonnie.' 

1 It was upon a Lammas night, 

AVlien corn rigs are bonnie, 
Beneatli the moon's unclouded light, 

I held awa to Annie : ^ 
The time fle^Y bj w'l' tentless heed, 

Till 'tween the late and early, 
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed, 

To see me through the barley. 

2 The sky was blue, the wind was still, 

The moon was shining clearly; 
I set her down, wd' right good will, 

Amang the rigs o' barley ; 
I ken't her heart was a' my ain ; 

I loved her most sincerely; 
I kiss'd her owre and owre again, 

Amang the rigs o' barley. 

3 I lock'd her in my fond embrace ; 

Her heart was beating rarely : 
My blessings on that happy place, 

x\mang the rigs o' barley ! 
But by the moon and stars so bright, 

That shone that hour so clearly, 
She aye shall bless that happy night, 

Amang the rigs o' barley I 

■ ' Annie : ' Anne Mary, youngest daughter of John Rankine ; she became 
the keeper of a hostelry at Cumnock 


I liae been blithe wi' comrades dear; 

I bae been merry drinkin'; 
I bae been jojfu' gatb 'rin' gear; 

I bae been happy thinkin' : 
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw, 

Though three times doubled fairly, 
That happy night was worth them a', 

Amang the rigs o' barley. 


Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, 

An' corn rigs are bonnie : 
I '11 ne'er forget that happy night, 

Amang the rigs wi' Annie. 

Tune — ' / had a horse, I had na mairJ 

1 Now westlin' winds, and slaughtering guns, 

Bring autumn's pleasant weather; 
The moorcock springs on whirring wings, 

Amang the blooming heather: 
Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain, 

Delights the weary farmer; 
And the moon shines bright, when I rove at night, 

To muse upon my charmer. 

2 The partridge loves the fruitful fells; 

The plover loves the mountains; 
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells; 
'i'he soaring hern the fountains : 


Tliroiigli loftj groves the cushat roves, 
The patli of man to shun it ; 

The hazel bush o'crliangs the thrush, 
The spreading thorn the linnet. 

3 Thus every kind their pleasure find, 

The savage and the tender; 
Some social join, and leagues combine; 

Some soHtarj wander; 
A vaunt, away ! the cruel sway, 

Tj-rannic man's dominion ; 
The sportsman's joy, the murdering cry, 

The fluttering, gory pinion ! 

4 But Peggy,^ dear, the evening 's clear. 

Thick flies the skimming swallow ; 
The sky is blue, the fields in view. 

All fading-green and yellow : 
Come let us stray our gladsome w^ay. 

And view the charms of nature ; 
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn. 

And every happy creature. 

5 We '11 gently walk, and sweetly talk. 

Till the silent moon shine clearly; 
I '11 grasp thy waist, and, fondly press'd, 

Swear how I love thee dearly : 
Not vernal showers to budding flowers, 

Not autumn to the farmer. 
So dear can be as thou to me. 

My fair, my lovely charmer ! 

1 ( 

Peggy: ' ^Margaret Thomson, Burns' flame at Kirkoswald. 

SOKG. 177 

Tune — ' My Nannie ! ' 

1 Behind jon bills where Lugar^ flows, 

'Maug moors an' mosses mauj, ! 
The wintry sun the daj has closed, 
And I '11 aw^a' to Nannie, ! 

2 The westlin' wind blaws loud an' shrill; 

The night 's baith mirk and rainy, ! 
But I '11 get my plaid, an' out I '11 steal, 
And owre the hills to Nannie, ! 

3 My Nannie 's charming, sweet, an' young ; 

Nae artfu' wiles to win ye, ! 
May ill befa' the flattering tongue 
That wad beguile my Nannie, ! 

4 Her face is fair, her heart is true, 

As spotless as she's bonnie, 0! 
The opening gowan, wet wi' dew, 
Nae purer is than Nannie, ! 

5 A country lad is my degree. 

And few there be that ken me, 0! 
But what care I how few they be '? 
I 'm welcome aye to Nannie, ! 

6 My riches a 's my penny-fee. 

And I maun guide it cannie, 0! 
But warl's gear ne'er troubles me, 
My thoughts are a' — my Nannie, ! 

' ' Lugar : ' originally Stincliar. 

178 burns' poems. 

7 Oiu' auld guidman dcliglits to vievy 

His sheep an' kje thrive bonnie, ! 
But I 'in as bhthe that hands his pleugh, 
And has nae care but Nannie, ! 

8 Come weel, come woe, I care na by, 

I '11 tak what Heaven will sen' me, ! 
Nae ither care in life have I, 
But live, an' love my Nannie, ! 


1 There 's nought but care on every han', 

In every hour that passes, ! 
What signifies the life o' man, 
An' 'twere na for the lasses, ! 


Green grow the rashes, 0! 

Green grow the rashes, ! 
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend, 

Are spent amang the lasses, ! 

2 The warly race may riches chase. 

And riches still may fly them, ! 
And though at last they catch them fast. 
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, ! 

3 But gie me a canny hour at e'en. 

My arms about my dearie, ! 
And warly cares, an' warly men, 
May a' gae tapsalteerie, 0! 

' Note. — This is an improvement on an old song. — B. 

SONG. 17.9 

4 For jou sae douse, je sneer at this, 

Ye 're nought but senseless asses, ! 
The wisest man the warl' e'er saw. 
He dearly loved the lasses, 0! 

5 Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears 

Her noblest work she classes, 0! 
Her 'prentice han' she tried on man. 
And then she made the lasses, 0! 

Tune — ' Jockeys Gray BreeTcs! 

1 Again rejoicing Nature sees 

Her robe assume its vernal hues. 
Her leafy locks wave in the breeze, 
All freshly steep'd in morning dews. 


And maun I still on Menie^ doat, 
And bear the scorn that 's in her e'e *? 

For it's jet, jet black, an' it's like a hawk, 
An' it winna let a body be ! 

2 In vain to me the cowslips blaw, 

In vain to mc the violets spring ; 
In vain to me, in glen or shaw, 
The mavis and the lintwhite sing. 

' This chorus is part of a song couiposed by a gentlemau in Edinburgh, 
a particuhir friend of the author's.— -B.—^ ' Menie : ' is the common abbre- 
viation of iMariamne. 

180 BUllNS' rOEMS. 

3 The mcrrj plougliboy cheers his team, 

Wi' joy the tentie seedsman stalks, 
But life to ine 's a weary dream, 
A dream of ane that never wauks. 

4 The wanton coot the water skims, 

Amang the reeds the ducklings cry, 
The stately swan majestic swims, 
And everything is blest but I. 

The shepherd steeks his faulding slap. 

And owre the moorlands whistles shrill ; 
Wi' wild, unequal, wandering step, 
I meet him on the dewy hill. 

6 And when the lark, 'tween light and dark, 

Blithe waukens by the daisy's side. 
And mounts and sings on flittering wings, 
A woeworn ghaist I hameward glide. 

7 Come, Winter, with thine angry howl, 

x\nd raging bend the naked tree ; 
Thy gloom will soothe my cheerless soul. 
When Nature all is sad like me ! 

Tune — * Roslin Castle' 

1 The gloomy night is gathering fast, 
Loud roars the wild inconstant blast 
Yon murky cloud is foul with rain, 
1 see it driving o'er the plain ; 

SONG. 181 

The hunter now has left the moor, 
The scatter'd covejs meet secure; 
While here I wander, press'd with care, 
Along the lonely banks of Ayr. 

2 The Autumn mourns her ripening corn 
By early Winter's ravage torn ; 
Across her placid, azure sky, 

She sees the scowling tempest fly ; 
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave, — 
I think upon the stormy wave. 
Where many a danger I must dare. 
Far from the bonuie banks of Ayr. 

3 'Tis not the surging billow's roar, 
'Tis not that fatal deadly shore ; 
Though death in every shape appear. 
The wretched have no more to fear ! 
But round my heart the ties are bound, 
That heart transpierced with many a wound ; 
These bleed afresh, those ties I tear. 

To leave the bonnie banks of Ayr. 

4 Farewell, old Coila's hills and dales, 
Her heathy moors and winding vales ; 
The scenes where wretched fancy roves. 
Pursuing past, unhappy loves ! 
Farewell, my friends ! Farewell, my foes ! 
My peace with these, my love with those— 
The bursting tears my heart declare ; 
Farewell, the bonnie banks of Ayr ! 

182 burns' poems. 

Tune — ' Gilderoy^ 

1 Froji tlieo, Eliza,! j ^^-j^gt go, 

And from mj native shore ; 
The cruel fates between iis throw 

A boundless oceans roar ; 
But boundless ocean's, roaring wide, 

Between mj love and me, 
Thej never, never can divide 

Mj heart and soul from thee ! 

2 Farewell, farewell, Eliza dear, 

The maid that I adore ! 
A boding voice is in mine ear, 

We part to meet no more 1 
But the last throb that leaves my heart, 

While death stands victor bj, 
That throb, Eliza, is thj part. 

And thine that latest sidi ! 


Tune — ' Good night an' joy he wi' you a'!' 

1 Adieu ! a heart-warm, fond adieu ! 
Dear brothers of the mystic tie ! 
Ye favour'd, ye enlighten'd few, 
Companions of my social joy ! 

' ' Eliza : ' one of the ' six belles ' of Mauchliue— Betty Miller, afterwards 
Mrs Templeton, 


Though I to foreign lands must hie, 

Pursuing Fortune's slidderj ba'. 
With melting heart, and brimful eje, 

I '11 mind jou still, though far awa'. 

2 Oft have I met your social band, 

And spent the cheerful, festive night ; 
Oft, honour'd with supreme command. 

Presided o'er the Sons of Light : 
And by that Hieroglyphic Bright, 

Which none but Craftsmen ever saw. 
Strong Memory on my heart shall write 

Those happy scenes when far awa'! 

3 May Freedom, Harmony, and Love, 

Unite you in the grand design. 
Beneath the Omniscient Eye above, 

The glorious Architect Divine ! 
That you may keep the unerring line, 

Still rising by the plummet's law, 
Till Order bright completely shine, 

Shall be my prayer when far awa'. 

4 And you, farewell ! whose merits claim. 

Justly, that highest badge to wear! 
Heaven bless your honour'd, noble name, 

To Masonry and Scotia dear ! 
A last request permit me here, 

When yearly ye assemble a', 
One round — I ask it with a tear — 

To him, the Bard that 's far awa' ! 



Tune — ' Prepare, my dear brethren, to the 
tavern let 's jly! 

1 No cliurchman am I for to rail and to write, 
No statesman nor soldier to plot or to fight. 
No slj man of business contriving a snare, — 
For a big-bellied bottle 's tbe whole of my care. 

2 The peer I don't envy, I give him his bow ; 
I scorn not the peasant, though ever so low ; 
But a club of good fellows, like those that are here, 
And a bottle like this, are my glory and care. 

3 Here passes the squire on his brother — his horse ; / 
There centum per centum, the cit with his purse ; 
But see you The Crown, how it waves in the air ! 
There a big-bellied bottle still eases my care. 

4 The wife of my bosom, alas ! she did die ; 
For sweet consolation to church I did fly; 
I found that old Solomon proved it fair, 
That a big-bellied bottle 's a cure for all care. 

.5 I once was persuaded a venture to make ; 
A letter inform'd me that all was to wreck ; 
But the pursy old landlord just waddled up stairs, 
With a glorious bottle that ended my cares. 

6 ' Life's cares they are comforts' ^ — a maxim laid down 
By the bard, what d' ye call him, that wore the black 
gown ; 

' ' Comforts : ' Young's ' Night Thouglits.'— ZJ. 


And, faith ! I agree witli the old prig to a hau- ; 
For a bis-bellied bottle 's a heaven of care. 


Then fill up a bumper, and make it o'erflow, 
And honours masonic prepare for to throw ; 
May every true brother of the compass and square 
Have a bis-bellied bottle when harass'd with care ! 



Thou whom chance may hither lead, 
Be thou clad in russet weed, 
Be thou deck'd in silken stole, 
Grave these counsels on thy soul : — 

Life is but a day at most. 
Sprung from night, in darkness lost ; 
Hope not sunshine every hour, 
Fear not clouds will always lower. 

As youth and love with sprightly dance, 
Beneath thy morning star advance, lo 

Pleasure with her siren air 
May delude the thoughtless pair; 
Let Prudence bless Enjoyment's cup, 
Then raptured sip, and sip it up. 

As thy day grows warm and high, 
Life's meridian flaming nigh 

' ' Friara-Carse : ' an estate near Ellisland, belonging to Mr Riddell. 

186 burns' poems. 

Dost tlioii spurn the humble vale"? 17 

Life's proud suuimits wouldst thou scale? 

Check thy climbing step, elate, 

Evils lurk in felon wait : 

Dangers, eagle-pinion'd, bold, 

Soar around each cliffy hold, 

While cheerful peace, with linnet song, 

Chants the lowlj dells among. 

As the shades of evening close, 
Beckoning thee to long repose ; 
As life itself becomes disease, 
Seek the chimnej-nook of ease. 
There ruminate with sober thought, 
On all thou'st seen, and heard, and wrought ; 30 
And teach the sportive younkers round, 
Saws of experience, sage and sound. 
Say, man's true, genuine estimate. 
The grand criterion of liis fate, 
Is not, Art thou high or low ? 
Did thy fortune ebb or flow? 
Did many talents gild thy span ? 
Or frugal nature grudge thee one ? 
Tell them, and press it on their mind, 
As thou tliyself must shortly find, 40 

The smile or frown of awful Heaven, 
To virtue or to vice is given. 
Say, to be just, and kind, and wise. 
There solid self-enjoyment lies : 
That foolish, selfish, fiiithless ways, 
Lead to the wretched, vile, and base. 

Tlius resign'd and quiet, creep 
To the bed of lasting sleep ; 
Sleep, whence thou shalt ne'er awake, 
Night, where dawn shall never break, 50 


Till future life, future no more, 51 

To light and joy the good restore, 
To light and joj unknown before. 

Stranger, go ! Heaven be tlij guide ! 
Quod the beadsman of Nithside. 


Dweller in yon dungeon dark, 
Hangman of creation I mark 
Who in widow-weeds appears, 
Laden with nnhonour'd years. 
Noosing with care a bursting purse. 
Baited with many a deadly curse ! 


View the wither'd beldame's face — 
Can thy keen inspection trace 
Aught of humanity's sweet, melting grace ? 
Note that eye, 'tis rheum o'erflows, 10 

Pity's flood there never rose. 
See those hands, ne'er stretch'd to save, 
Hands that took — but never gave. 
Keeper of Mammon's iron chest, 
Lo, there she goes, unpiticd and unblest ; 
She goes, but not to realms of everlasting rest! 

' ' Ode : ' every reader of Burns remembers the chcumstances under which 
this savage ode was composed 

188 BUllNS' rOEMS. 


Plunderer of armies, lift thine ejes, ir 

(A while forbear, jc torturing fiends !) 
Seest thou whose step unwilling hither bends '? 
No fallen angel, hurl'd from upper skies; 
'Tis thy trusty quondam mate, 
Dooni'd to share thy fiery fate, 
She, tardy, heliward plies. 


And are they of no more avail, 
Ten thousand glittering pounds a-year 1 
In other worlds can Mammon fail, 
Omnipotent as he is here ? 
Oh, bitter mockery of the pompous bier, 
While down the wretched vital part is driven ! 
The cave-lod2;ed beggar, with a conscience clear, 
Expires in rags, unknown, and goes to heaven. 



' But now his radiant course is run, 

For Matthew's course was bright ; 
His soul was like the glorious sun, 
A matchless, heavenly light ! ' 

1 Death ! thou tyrant fell and bloody ! 
The meikle devil wi' a woodie 
Haurl thee hame to his black smiddie, 

O'er hurcheon hides, 
And like stockfish come o'er his studdie 

Wi' thy auld sides ! 

' ' Captain M. Henderson : ' a harmless old Edinburgh hon- vivant, who had 
once been in the army. 


2 He 's gane ! he 's gane ! he 's frae us torn, 
The ae best fellow e'er was born ! 

Thee, Matthe^Y, Nature's sel' shall mourn 

By AYOod and wild, 

"Where, haplj, Pitj strays forlorn, 

Frae man exiled, 

3 Ye hills, near neibonrs o' the starns, 
That proudly cock your cresting cairns ! 
Ye cliffs, the haunts of sailing yearns, 

Where Echo slumbers ! 
Come join, ye Nature's sturdiest bairns, 

My "wailing numbers ! 

4 Mourn, ilka grove the cushat kens ! 
Ye hazelly shaws and briery dens ! 
Ye burnies, wimplin' down your glens, 

Wi' toddlin' din, 
Or foaming Strang, wi' hasty stens, 

Frae lin to lin. 

5 Mourn, little harebells o'er the lea; 
Ye stately foxgloves, fair to see; 
Ye woodbines, hanging bonnilie 

In scented bowers ; 
Ye roses on your thorny tree, 

The first o' flowers. 

6 At dawn, when every grassy blade 
Droops with a diamond at its head, 

At even, when beans their fragrance shed, 

r the rustling gale, 

Ye maukins, whiddiii' through the glade, 

Come join my wail ! 

190 burns' poems. 

7 Mourn, ye wee songsters o' the wood ; 
Ye grouse, tliat crap the heather bud; 
Ye curlews, calling through a clud; 

Ye whistling plover; 
And mourn, ye whirring paitrick brood- 

Ile 's gane for ever ! 

8 Mourn, sooty coots, and speckled teals ; 
Ye fisher herons, watching eels ; 

Ye duck and drake, wi' airy wheels 

Circling the lake ; 

Ye bitterns, till the quagmire reels, 

Rair for his sake ! 

9 Mourn, clam'ring craiks at close o' day, 
'Mang fields o' flowering clover gay; 
And when ye wing your annual way 

Frae our cauld shore. 
Tell thae far warlds, wha lies in clay, 

Wham we deplore. 

10 Ye houlets, frae your ivy bower, 
In some auld tree, or eldritch tower. 
What time the moon, wi' silent glower. 

Sets up her horn, 
Wail through the dreary midnight hour 

Till waukrife morn ! 

110 rivers, forests, hills, and plains ! 
Oft have ye heard my canty strains : 
But now, what else for me remains 

But tales of woe ? 
And frae my e'en the drapping rains 

Maun ever flow. 


12 Mourn, Spring, thou darling of the year! 
Ilk cowslip cup shall kep a tear : 

Thou Simmer, while each corny spear 

Shoots up its head, 

Thy gay, green, flowery tresses shear 

For him that 's dead ! 

13 Thou, Autumn, wi' thy yellow hair. 
In grief thy sallow mantle tear ! 
Thou, Winter, hurling through the air 

The roaring blast, 
Wide o'er the naked world declare 

The worth we 've lost ! 

14 Mourn him, thou Sun, great source of light ! 
Mourn, Empress of the silent night ! 

And you, ye twinkling Starnies bright. 

My Matthew mourn ! 

For through your orbs he 's ta'en his flight. 

Ne'er to return. 

15 Henderson ! the man ! — the brother ! 
And art thou gone, and gone for ever 1 
And hast thou cross'd that unknown river. 

Life's dreary bound ? 
Like thee, where shall I find another. 

The world around '? 

16 Go to your sculptured tombs, ye great, 
In a' the tinsel trash o' state ! 

But by thy honest turf I '11 wait, 

Thou man of worth ! 

And weep the ae best fellow's fate 

E'er lay in earth. 

192 burns' poems. 


1 Stop, passenger! — my story's brief; 

And truth I shall relate, man ; 

I tell nac common tale o' erief — 

For Matthew was a great man. 

2 If thou uncommon merit hast, 

Yet spurn'd at fortune's door, man ; 
A look of pity hither cast — 
For Matthew was a poor man. 

3 If thou a noble sodger^ art, 

That passest by this grave, man ; 
There moulders here a gallant heart — 
For Matthew was a brave man. 

4 If thou on men, their works and ways, 

Canst throw uncommon light, man ; 
Here lies wha weel had won thy praise- 
For Matthew was a brio;ht man. 


5 If thou at friendsliip's sacred ca' 

Wad life itself resign, man ; 
Thy sympathetic tear maun fa' — 
For Matthew was a kind man. 

6 If thou art staunch without a stain, 

Like the unchanging blue, man ; 
This was a kinsman o' thy ain — 
For Matthew was a true man. 

' ' Sodger : ' R. Cliambers says tliat tlie name ' Captain ' was a mere pet 
name conferred on Henderson. The allusion liere, however, to his gallantry, 
confutes the supposition. He was probably an officer retired on half-pay. 


7 If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire, 

And ne'er guid wine did fear, man ; 
This was thy billie, dam, and sire — 
For Matthew was a queer man. 

8 If ony whiggish, whingin' sot. 

To blame poor Matthew dare, man ; 
May dool and sorrow be his lot — 
For Matthew was a rare man. 



1 Now Nature hangs her mantle green 

On every blooming tree, 
And spreads her sheets o' daisies white 

Out o'er the grassy lea : 
Now Phoebus cheers the crystal streams, 

And glads the azure skies ; 
But nought can glad the weary wight 

That fast in durance lies. 

2 Now lav'rocks wake the merry morn, 
Aloft on dewy wing ; 
The merle, in his noontide bower. 

Makes woodland echoes ring ; 
The mavis mild wi' mony a note, 

Sings drowsy day to rest : 
In love and freedom they rejoice, 
Wi' care nor thrall opprcss'd. 

194 burns' poe:\[S. 

3 No^v blooms the lily by the bank, 

The primrose down the brae ; 
The liaAvthorn 's budding in the glen, 

And milk-white is the slae ; 
The meanest hind in fair Scotland 

May rove their sweets araang ; 
But I, the Queen of a' Scotland, 

Maun lie in prison Strang 1 

4 I was the Queen o' bonnie France, 

Where happy I hae been ; 
Fu' lightly rase I in the morn. 

As blithe lay down at e'en : 
And I 'm the sovereign of Scotland, 

And mony a traitor there ; 
Yet here I lie in foreign bands, 

And never-ending care. 

5 But as for thee, thou false woman ! 

My sister and my fae, 
Grim vengeance yet shall whet a sword 

That through thy soul shall gae ' 
The weeping blood in woman's breast 

Was never known to thee : 
Nor the balm that draps on wounds of woe 

Frae woman's pitying e'e. 

6 My son ! my son ! may kinder stars 

Upon thy fortune shine ! 
And may those pleasures gild thy reign. 

That ne'er wad blink on mine ! 
God keep thee frae thy mother's faes. 

Or turn their hearts to thee : 
And where thou meet'st thy mother's friend, 

Remember him for me ! 


7 Oil ! soon, to me, raaj summer suns 

Nae mair light up the mora ! 
Nae mair, to me, the autumn winds 

Wave o'er the yellow corn! 
And in the narrow house o' death 

Let winter round me rave ; 
And the next flowers that deck the spring, 

Bloom on my peaceful grave ! 


When Nature her great masterpiece design'd, 

And framed her last, best work, the human mind, 

Her eye intent on all the mazy plan, 

She form'd of various parts the various man. 

Then first she calls the useful many forth ; 

Plain plodding industry, and sober worth : 

Thence peasants, farmers, native sons of earth, 

And merchandise' whole genus take their birth ; 

Each prudent cit a warm existence finds, 

And all mechanics' many-apron'd kinds. 10 

Some other rarer sorts are wanted yet. 

The lead and buoy are needful to the net ; 

The caput mortuum of gross desires 

Makes a material for mere knights and squires ; 

The martial phosphorus is taught to flow ; 

She kneads the lumpish philosophic dough. 

Then marks the unyielding mass with grave designs, 

Law, physic, politics, and deep divines ; 

Last, she sublimes the Aurora of the poles. 

The flashing elements of female souls. 20 


196 burns' poems. 

The order'd system fair before lier stood, 21 

Nature, well-pleased, pronounced it very good; 
But ere she gave creating labour o'er. 
Half-jest, she tried one curious labour more. 
Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatuus matter. 
Such as the slightest breath of air might scatter ; 
With arch alacrity and conscious glee 
(Nature may have her Avhim as well as we. 
Her Hogarth-art perhaps she meant to show it) 
She forms the thing, and christens it — a poet ; 30 

Creature, though oft the prey of care and sorrow, 
When blest to-day, unmindful of to-morrow. 
A being form'd to amuse his graver friends, 
Admired and praised — and there the homage ends : 
A mortal quite unfit for fortune's strife. 
Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life ; 
Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches give, 
Yet haply wanting wherewithal to live ; 
Longing to wipe each tear, to heal each groan. 
Yet frequent all unheeded in his own. 40 

(But honest nature is not quite a Turk, 
V^he laugh'd at first, then felt for her poor work. 
Pitying the propless climber of mankind. 
She cast about a standard tree to find ; 
And, to support his helpless woodbine state, 
Attach'd him to the generous, truly great, 
A title, and the only one I claim, 
To lay strong hold for help on bounteous Graham. 
Pity the tunefid Muses' hapless train, 
W^eak, timid landsmen on life's stormy main ! so 

Their hearts no selfish stern absorbent stuff. 
That never gives — though humbly takes enough ; 
The little fate allows, they share as soon. 
Unlike sage proverb'd wisdom's hard-wrung boon. 


The "^ivorld were bless'cl did bliss on them depend, 55 

All, that 'the friendly e'er should want a friend I' 

Let prudence number o'er eacli sturdy son, 

Who life and wisdom at one race begun, 

Who feel by reason and who give by rule 

(Instinct's a brute, and sentiment's a fool!) — • co 

Who make poor 'will do' wait upon ' I should' — 

We own they 're prudent, but who feels they 're good ? 

Ye wise ones, hence ! ye hurt the social eye ! 

God's image rudely etch'd on base alloy ! 

But come, ye who the godlike pleasure know, 

Heayen's attribute distinguish'd — to bestow ! 

Whose arms of love would grasp the human race : 

Come thou who giv'st with all a courtier's grace ; 

Friend of my life, true patron of my rhymes, 

Prop of my dearest hopes for future times ! ro 

Why shrinks my soul, half-blushing, half-afraid, 

Backward, abash'd, to ask thy friendly aid 1 

I know my need, I know thy giving hand, 

I crave thy friendship at thy kind command ; 

But there are such who court the tuneful Nine — 

Heavens ! should the branded character be mine ! 

Whose verse in manhood's pride sublimely flows, 

Yet vilest reptiles in their begging prose. 

Mark, how their lofty independent spirit 

Soars on the spurning wing of injured merit ! 80 

Seek not the proofs in private life to find ; 

Pity the best of words should be but wind ! 

So to Heaven's gate the lark's shrill song ascends, 

But grovelling on the earth the carol ends. 

In all the clamorous cry of starving want. 

They dun benevolence with shameless front; 

Oblige them, patronise their tinsel lays, 

They persecute you all your future days ! 

198 burns' poems. 

Ere my poor soul such deep damnation stain, gg 

My horny fist assume tlie plougli again ; 

The piebald jacket let me patcli once more ; 

On eigliteenpence a-week I 've lived before. 

Though, tlianks to Heaven, I dare even that last shift ! 

I trust, meantime, my boon is in thy gift : 

That, placed by thee upon the wished-for height, 

Wliere, man and nature fairer in her siglit, 

My Muse may imp her wing for some sublimer fliglit. 


1 FiNTRY, my stay in worldly strife, 
Friend o' my Muse, friend o' my life ! 

Are ye as idle 's I am '? 
Come, then, wi' uncouth, kiutra fleg. 
O'er Pegasus I '11 fling my leg, 

And ye shall see me try him. 

2 I '11 sing the zeal Drumlanrig bears. 
Who left the all-im])ortant cares 

Of princes and their darlings ; 
And, bent on winning borough towns. 
Came shaking liands wi' wabster loons. 

And kissing barefit carlins. 

3 Combustion through our boroughs rode, 
AVhistling his roaring pack abroad. 

Of mad, unmuzzled lions ; 
As Queensberry buff and blue unfurl'd, 
And Westerha' and Ilopetouu hurl'd 

To every Whig defiance. 

1 Note.— This second epistle refers to a contested election between Sir J. John- 
stone and Captain Miller for tlie Dumfries burghs. 


4 But QucensbeiTj, cautions, left the war, 
The unmanner'd dust might soil his star, 

Besides, he hated bleedius; ; 
But left behind him heroes briirht. 
Heroes in C?esarean fight 

Or Ciceronian pleading. 

Oh for a throat like huge Mons-Meg, 

To muster o'er each ardent Whig 
Beneath Drumlanrig's banners ; 

Heroes and heroines commix 

All in the field of politics, 

To win immortal honours. 

6 M'Murdo and his lovely spouse 

(The enamour'd laurels kiss her brows) 

Led on the loves and graces ; 
She won each gaping burgess' heart, 
While he, all-conquering, play'd his part, 
Among their wives and lasses. 

7 Graigdarroch led a light-arm'd corps ; 
Troops, metaphors, and figures pour. 

Like Hecla streaming thunder ; 
Glenriddel, skill'd in rustj coins, 
Blew up each Tory's dark designs, 

And bared the treason under. 

8 In either wing two champions fought, 
Redoubted Staig, who set at uoiigbt 

The wildest savage Tory, 
And Welsh, who ne'er yet flincli'd his ground. 
High waved his magnum bonum round 

AVith Cyclopean fury. 


9 Miller brought np the artillery ranks, 
The manj-pounders of the Banks, 

Resistless desolation ; 
Wliile Maxwclton, that baron bold, 
'Mid Larson's port entrench'd his hold, 

And thrcaten'd worse damnation. 

1 To these, what Tory hosts opposed ; 
With these, what Tory warriors closed, 

Surpasses ray descriving : 
Squadrons extended long and large, 
With furious speed rush'd to the charge. 

Like ragino; devils driving. 

1 1 What verse can sing, what prose narrate. 
The butcher deeds of bloody fate 

Amid this mighty tulzie 1 
Grim Horror grinn'd ; pale Terror roar'd, 
As Murther at his thrapple shored ; 

And hell mix'd in the brulzie ! 

12 As Highland crags, by thunder cleft, 
AVhen lightnings fire the stormy lift, 

Hurl down wi' crashing rattle ; 
As flames amang a hundred woods ; 
As headlong foam a hundred floods — 

Such is the ra2;e of battle. 

13 The stubborn Tories dare to die ; 
As soon the rooted oaks would fly, 

Before the approaching fellers ; 
The Whigs come on like Ocean's roar. 
When all his wintry billows pour 
Against the Buchan Bullers. 


14 Lo, from the shades of Death's deep night. 
Departed Whigs eiijov the fight, 

And think on former daring ! 
Tlie muffled murtherer of Charles 
The Magna-Charta flag iinfm-ls, 

All deadly gules its bearing. 

15 Nor wanting ghosts of Tory fame ; 

Bold Scrim2;eour follows ijallant Grahame — 

Aiild Covenanters shiver — 
(Forgive, forgive, much-wrong'd Montrose ! 
While death and hell engulf thy foes, 

Thou liv'st on high for ever !) 

16 Still o'er the field the combat burns ; 
The Tories, Whigs, give way by turns ; 

But Fate the word has spoken — 
For woman's wit, or strength of man, 
Alas ! can do but what they can — 

The Tory ranks are broken. 

1 7 Oh that my e'en were flowing burns ! 
My voice a lioness that mourns 

Her darling cub's undoing ! 
That I might greet, that I might cry, 
While Tories fall, while Tories fly, 

And furious Whigs pursuing ! 

1 8 What Whig but wails the good Sir James ; 
Dear to his country by the names. 

Friend, Patron, Benefactor 1 
Not Pulteney's wealth can Pulteney save I 
And Ilopetoun falls, the generous, brave ! 

And Stuart, bold as Hector ! 

202 burns' roEMS. 

19 Thou, Pitt, shall rue this overthrow. 
And Thurlow growl a curse of woe, 

And Melville melt in wailing ! 
Now Fox and Sheridan, rejoice ! 
And Burke shall sing : ' Prince, arise 

Thj power is all-prevailing !' 

20 For your poor friend, the Bard, afar 
He hears, and only hears the war, 

A cool spectator purely ; 
So when the storm the forest rends, 
The robin in the hedge descends, 

And sober chirps securely. 


Late crippled of an arm, and now a leg, 
About to beg a pass for leave to beg ; 
Dull, listless, teased, dejected, and depress'd, 
(Nature is adverse to a cripple's rest ;) 
Will generous Graham list to his poet's wail ? 
(It soothes poor misery, hearkening to her tale) 
And hear him curse the light he first survey'd. 
And doubly curse the luckless rhyming trade "? 
Thou, Nature ! partial Nature ! I ai-raign ; 
Of thy caprice maternal I complain. lo 

The lion and the bull thy care have found, 
One shakes the forests and one spurns the ground : 
Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell, 
The euvenom'd wasp, victorious, guards his cell. 


Thy minions, kings, defend, control, devour, 15 

In all the omnipotence of rule and power ; 

Foxes and statesmen, subtile wiles insure. 

The cit and polecat stink, and are secure. 

Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug, 

The priest and hedgehog in their robes are snug ; 20 

Even silly woman has her warlike arts. 

Her tongue and eyes, her dreaded spear and darts. 

But, oh ! thou bitter stepmother and hard, 
To thy poor, fenceless, naked child, the Bard ! 
A thing unteachable in world's skill. 
And half an idiot, too, more helpless still ; 
No heels to bear him from the opening dun ; 
No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun ; 
No horns, but those by luckless Hymen worn, 
And those, alas ! not Amalthea's horn : 30 

No nerves olfiictory. Mammon's trusty cur, 
Clad in rich dulness' comfortable fur! — 
In naked feeling, and in aching pride, 
He bears the unbroken blast from every side : 
Vampyre booksellers drain him to the heart, 
And scorpion critics cureless venom dart. 

Critics ! — appall'd I venture on the name, 
Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame : 
Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes ! ^ 
He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose. 4o 

His heart by causeless wanton malice wrung, 
By blockheads' daring into madness stung; 
His well-won bays, than life itself more dear. 
By miscreants torn, who ne'er one sprig must 'wear: 
Foil'd, bleeding, tortured, in the unequal strife, 
The hapless poet flounders on through life ; 
Till, fled each hope that once his bosom fired, 

' ' Monroe : ' Alexander, Professor of Anatomy, Edinburgh. 

204 burns' poems. 

And fled each Muse that glorious once inspired, 48 

Low sunk in squalid, unprotected age, 
Dead even resentment, for his injured page, 
He heeds or feels no more the ruthless critic's rage ! 
So, bj some hedge, the generous steed deceased, 
For half-starved snarling curs a dainty feast ; 
Bj toil and famine wore to skin and bone, 
Lies senseless of each tugging bitch's son. 

Dulness ! portion of the truly blest ! 
Calm shelter'd haven of eternal rest ! 

Thy sous ne'er madden in the fierce extremes 

Of fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams. 

If mantling high she fills the golden cup, 60 

With sober selfish ease they sip it up : 

Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve, 

They only wonder, ' some folks ' do not starve. 

The grave, sage hern thus easy picks his frog. 

And thinks the mallard a sad worthless doff. 

When disappointment snaps the clue of hope, 

And through disastrous night they darkling grope, 

AYith deaf endurance sluggishly they bear, 

And just conclude that ' fools are fortune's care.' 

So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks, vo 

Strong on the sign -post stands the stupid ox. 

Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap train. 

Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain ; 

In equanimity they never dwell. 

By turns in soaring heaven, or vaulted hell. 

1 dread thee, Fate, relentless and severe. 
With all a poet's, husband's, father's fear ! 
Already one stronghold of hope is lost, 
Glencairn, the truly noble, lies in dust ; 

(Fled, like the sun eclipsed as noon appears, so 

And left us darkling in a world of tears ;) 


Oh ! hear mj ardent, grateful, selfish prayer ! — 82 

Fintrj, mj other stay, long bless and spare ! 
Through a long life his hopes and wishes crown, 
And bright in cloudless skies his sun go down ! 
May bliss domestic smooth his private path. 
Give energy to life, and soothe his latest breath, 
AVith mauy a filial tear circling the bed of death ! 


1 I CALL no goddess to inspire my strains, 

A fabled Muse may suit a bard that feigns ; 
Friend of my life ! my ardent spirit burns. 
And all the tribute of my heart returns, 
For boons accorded, goodness ever new, 
The gift still dearer, as the giver, you. 

2 Thou orb of day! thou other paler light! 
And all ye mauy sparkling stars of night ! 
If aught that giver from my mind efi'ace, 
If I that giver's bounty e'er disgrace ; 

Then roll to me, along your wandering spheres. 
Only to number out a villain's years ! 


1 The wind blew hollow frae tlie liills. 
By fits the sun's departing beam 
Look'd on the fading yellow woods 
That waved o'er Lugar's winding stream : 

206 burns' roEMS. 

Beneath a craigy steep, a Bard, 
Laden with years and meikle pain, 

In loud lament bcwail'd his lord, 
Whom death had all untimely ta'eu. 

2 He lean'd him to an ancient aik, 

Whose trunk was mouldering down with years; 
His locks were bleached white with time, 

His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears ; 
And as he touch'd his trembling harp. 

And as he tuned his doleful sang, 
The winds lamenting through their caves. 

To Echo bore the notes alang : 

3 ' Ye scatter'd birds, that faintly sing, 

The reliques of the vernal quire ! 
Ye woods, that shed on a' the winds 

The honours of the aged year ! 
A few short months, and glad and gay. 

Again ye '11 charm tlie ear and e'e ; 
But nocht in all revolving time 

Can gladness bring again to me. 

4 ' I am a bending, aged tree. 

That long has stood the wind and rain ; 
But now has come a cruel blast. 

And my last hald of earth is gane : 
Nae leaf o' mine shall greet the spring, 

Nae simmer sun exalt my bloom ; 
But I maun lie before the storm. 

And ithers plant them in my room. 

5 ' I 've seen sae mony changefu' years, 

On earth I am a stranger grown ; 
I wander in the ways of men, 
Alike unknowing and unknown : 


Uulieard, unpitied, unrelieved, 

I bear alaue my lade o' care, 
For silent, low, on beds of dust, 

Lie a' that would my sorrows share. 

6 ' And last, (the sum of a' my griefs !) 

My noble master lies in clay ; 
The flower amang our barons bold, 

His country's pride, his country's stay — 
In weary being now I pine. 

For a^ the life of life is dead, 
And hope has left my aged ken, 

On forward wing for ever fled. 

7 ' Awake thy last sad voice, my harp ! 

The voice of woe and wild despair ! 
Awake ! resound thy latest lay — 

Then sleep in silence evermair ! 
And thou, my last, best, only friend. 

That fillest an untimely tomb, 
Accept this tribute from the Bard 

Thou brought from fortune's mirkest gloom. 

8 ' In poverty's low barren vale. 

Thick mists, obscure, involved me round; 
Though oft I turn'd the wistful eye, 

Nae ray of fame was to be found : 
Thou found'st me, like the morning sun 

That melts the fogs in limpid air, 
The friendless Bard and rustic song, 

Became alike thy fostering care. 


9 ' Oh ! why has worth so short a date 1 
While villains ripen gray with time ! 
Must thou, the noble, generous, great. 
Fall in bold manhood's hardy prime ? 

208 burns' poems. 

Why did I live to see that day 1 
A day to me so full of woe ! — 

Oh ! had I met the mortal shaft 
Which laid my bcucfactor low ! 

10 ' The bridegroom may forget the bride 

Was made his wedded wife yestreen; 
The monarch may forget the crown 

That on his head an hour has been; 
The mother may forget the child 

That smiles sae sweetly on her knee; 
But I '11 remember thee, Glencairn, 

And a' that thou hast done for me !' 



Thou, who thy honour as thy God revcr'st, 
Who, save thy mind's reproach, nought earthly fear'st, 
To thee this votive offering I impart, 
The tearful tribute of a broken heart. 
The friend thou valued'st, I the patron loved ; 
His worth, his honour, all the world approved. 
We '11 mourn till we, too, go as he has gone. 
And tread the dreary path to that dark world unknown. 



' Of brownyis and of bogilis full is this buke.' 

Gawin Douglas. 

When chapman billies leave the street, 

And drouthy neibours, neibours meet, 

As market-days are wearing late, 

And folk begin to tak the gate ; 

While we sit bousing at the nappy, 

And gettin' fii' and unco happy, 

We think na on the lang Scots miles, 

The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles, 

That lie between us and our hame, 

Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame, lo 

Gathering her brows like gathering storm, 

Nursing her wrath to keep it warm. 

This truth fand honest Tarn o' Shanter, 
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter, 
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses, 
For honest men and bonny lasses.) 

Tarn ! had'st thou but been sae wise, 
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice ! 
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum, 
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum ; 20 
That frae November till October, 
Ae market day thou was nae sober ; 
That ilka melder, wi' the miller. 
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller ; 
That every naig was ca'd a shoe on ; 
The smith and thee gat roaring fu' on ; 

That at the L 's house, even on Sunday. 

Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean^ till Monday. 

Kiikton Jean : ' Jean Kennedy, an alcliousc- keeper in Kiikosvvald. 


210 burns' poems. 

She prophesied, that late or soon, 29 

Thou would be found deep droM'n'd in Doon ; 

Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk, 

By Alloway's auld hunted kirk. 

Ah, gentle dames ! it gars me greet, 

To think how mony counsels sweet, 

How mony leugthen'd sage advices. 

The husband frae the wdfe despises ! 

But to our tale : — Ae market night, ' 

Tarn had got planted, unco right ; 

Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, 

Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely ; 40 

And at his elbow, Souter Johnny, 

His ancient, trusty, drouthie crony; 

Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither — 
They had been fu' for weeks thegither ! 
The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter, 
And aye the ale was growing better : 
The landlady and Tam grew gracious ; 
Wi' favours, secret, sweet, and precious : 
The Souter tauld his queerest stories ; 
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus : 50 

The storm without might rair and rustle — 
Tam did ua mind the storm a whistle. 
Care, mad to see a man sae happy, 
E'en drown'd himself amaug the nappy! 
As bees flee hame wi' lades 0' treasure, 
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure : 
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious. 
O'er a' the ills 0' life victorious ! 

But pleasures are like poppies spread, 
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed ! 60 

Or like the snow-fall in the river, 
A moment white — then melts for ever ; 


Or like tlie borealis race, 63 

That flit ere you can point their place ; 

Or like the rainbow's lovely form 

Evanishing amid the storm. 

Nae man can tether time or tide ; 

The hour approaches Tam maun ride ; 

That hour, o' night's black arch the keystane, 

That dreary hour he mounts his beast in ; 70 

And sic a nidit he taks the road in, 

As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in. 

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last ; 
The rattlin' showers rose on the blast : 
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd ; 
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd : 
That night a child might understand, 
The Deil had business on his hand. 

Weel mounted on his gray mare, Meg, 
A better never lifted leg, so 

Tam skelpit on through dub and mire, 
])espisiug wind, and rain, and fire ; 
Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet ; 
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet ; 
Whiles glowering round, wi' prudent cares, 
Lest bogles catch him unawares ; 
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, 
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry. 

By this time he was cross the ford, 
Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd ; 00 
And past the birks and meikle stane, 
Whare druckcn Charlie brak 's neck-bane ; 
And through the whins, and by the cairn, 
Whare hunters fand the murdcr'd bairn ; 
And near the thorn, aboon the well, 
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel'. 

212 burns' roEMS. 

Before him Doon pours all Lis floods ; 97 

The doubling storm roars through the woods ; 
The lightnings flash from pole to pole ; 
Near and more near the thunders roll ; 
When, glimmering through the groaning trees, 
Kirk-Alloway scem'd in a bleeze ; 
Through ilka bore the beams were glancing ; 
And loud resounded mirth and dancing. 

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn ! 
"What dangers thou canst make us scorn ! 
Wi' tippennj, we fear nae evil ; 
"VVi' usquabae we '11 face the devil ! — 
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle, 
Fair play, he cared na deils a boddle. no 

But Maggie stood right sair astonish'd. 
Till, by the heel and hand admonisli'd, 
She ventured forward on the light ; 
And, vow ! Tarn saw an unco sight ! 
Warlocks and witches in a dance ; 
Nae cotillon brent new frae France, 
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, 
Put life and metal in their heels. 
A winnock-bunker in the east, 
There sat Auld Nick, in shape o' beast ; 120 
A towsie tyke, black, grim, and large. 
To gie them music was his charge ; 
lie screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl. 
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl. 
Coffins stood round, like open presses, 
That shawed the dead in their last dresses ; 
And by some devilish cantrip slight, 
Each in its cauld hand held a light, — 
By which heroic Tam was able 
To note upon the haly table, iso 


A murderer's banes in gibbet aims ; isi 

Twa span-lang, M'ee uncliristeu'd bairns ; 

A thief new cutted frae a rape, 

Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape : 

Five tomahawks, wi' bhiid red-rusted ; 

Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted ; 

A garter, which a babe had strangled ; 

A knife, a father's throat had mangled, 

Whom his ain son o' life bereft, 

The gray hairs yet stack to the heft : i40 

Wi' raair o' horrible and awfu', 

Which even to name wad be unlawfu'. 

As Tammie glowred, amazed and curious, 
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious : 
The piper loud and louder blew ; 
The dancers quick and quicker flew ; 
They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they deekit, 
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit, 
And coost her duddies to the wark 
And linkit at it in her sark ! iso 

Now Tam, Tam ! had they been queans 
A' plump and strapping, in their teens ; 
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie fiannen. 
Been snaw-white seventeen-hunder linen : 
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair. 
That ance M'ere plush, o' guid blue hair, 
I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies. 
For ae blink o' the bonnie burdies ! 
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll, 
Higwoodie hags wad spean a foal, leo 

Lowping and flinging on a crummock, 
I wonder didna turn thy stomach. 

But Tam kenn'd what was what fu' brawlic ; 
There was ae winsome wench and walie, 

214 burns' poems. 

That night inlistcd in tlic core, 1C5 

(Lang after kenn'd on Carrick shore ; 

For mony a beast to dead she shot, 

And pcrisli'd monj a bonnie boat, 

And shook baith meikle corn and bear, 

And kept tlic countryside in fear) ivo 

Her cutty sark, o' Paisley harn, 

That while a lassie she had worn, 

In longitude though sorely scanty. 

It was her best, and she was vauntie, — 

Ah ! little kenn'd thy reverend grannie, 

That sark she coft for her wee Nannie, 

Wi' twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches), 

Wad ever graced a dance of witches ! 

But here my Muse her wing maun cour ; 
Sic flights are far beyond her power ! ■ 180 

To sing how Nannie lap and Hang, 
(A souple jaud she was and Strang) 
And how Tarn stood like ane bewitch'd. 
And thought his very e'en enrich'd ; 
Even Satan glowred, and fidged fu' fain, 
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main; 
Till first ae caper, syne anithcr. 
Tarn tint his reason a' thegitlier, 
And roars out, ' Weel done, Cutty-sark ! ' 
And in an instant all was dark : i90 

And scarcely had he Maggie rallied, 
"When out the hellish legion sallied. 
As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke. 
When plundering herds assail their byke ; 
As open pussie's mortal foes, 
When, pop ! she starts before their nose ; 
As eager runs the market-crowd. 
When 'Catch the thief!' resounds aloud; 


So !Maggie runs, the witches follow, 199 

Wi' monj an eldritch skreech and hollow. 

Ah, Tarn ! ah. Tarn ! thou '11 get thy fairin'! 
In hell they '11 roast thee like a herrin' ! 
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin' ! 
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman ! 
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg, 
And win the keystane ^ 0' the brig ; 
There at them thou thy tail may toss, 
A running stream they dare na cross ! 
But ere the keystane she could make, 
The fient a tail she had to shake ! 210 

For Nannie, far before the rest, 
Hard upon noble Maggie press'd, 
And flew at Tarn wi' furious ettle ; 
But little wist she Maggie's mettle — 
Ae spring brought off her master hale, 
But left behind her ain gray tail : 
The carline claught her by the rump, 
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump. 

Now, wha this tale 0' truth shall read, 
Ilk man and mother's son, take heed : 220 

Whene'er to drink you are inclined, 
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind, 
Think, ye may buy the joys owre dear — ■ 
Remember Tam 0' Shanter's mare. 

' 'Keystane:' it is a well-known fact, that witches, or any evil spirits, 
have no power to follow a poor wiglit any farther than the middle of the aicxt 
running stream. It may be proper likewise to mention to the benighted 
traveller, that when he falls in with bogles, whatever danger may l»o in liis 
going forward, there is much more hazard in turning buck. — B. 

216 burns' poems. 



1 Inhuman man ! curse on tlij barbarous art, 

And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye : 
May never pity soothe thee with a sigh. 
Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart ! 

2 Go, live, poor wanderer of the wood and field ! 

The bitter little that of life remains : 
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains 
To thee shall home, or food, or pastime yield. 

3 Seek, mangled wretch! some place of wonted rest, 

No more of rest, but now thy dying bed ! 
The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy head, 
The cold earth with thy bloody bosom press'd. 

4 Oft as by winding Nith, I, musing, wait 

The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn, 
I '11 miss thee sporting o'er the dewy lawn. 
And curse the ruffian's aim, and mourn thy hapless 




1 While virgin Spring, by Eden's flood. 
Unfolds her tender mantle green. 
Or pranks the sod in frolic mood, 
Or tunes -i^olian strains between : 

' ' Crowning his bust : ' this was in September 1790, under the auspices of 
the Earl of Buclian. 


2 While Summer with a matron grace 

Retreats to Drjburgh's cooling shade. 
Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace 
The progress of the spiky blade : 

3 While Autumn, benefactor kind, 

By Tweed erects his aged head, 
And sees, with self-approving mind, 
Each creature on his bounty fed : 

4 While maniac Winter rages o'er 

The hills whence classic Yarrow flows, 
Rousing the turbid torrent's roar. 
Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows : 

5 So long, sweet Poet of the year ! 

Shall bloom that wreath thou well hast won : 
AYhile Scotia, with exulting tear, 

Proclaims that Thomson was her son. 



Here souter Hood in death does sleep — 

To hell, if he 's gane thither, 
Satan, gie him thy gear to keep, 

He '11 hand it weel thegither. 


Below thir stanes lie Jamie's ^ banes : 

Death, it 's my opinion. 
Thou ne'er took such a bleth'rin' bitch 

Into thy dark dominion ! 

' ' Jamie : ' Ilumplirey, a west country mason, fond of controversy. 

218 burns' poems. 

' Hicjacet wee Johnnie.' 

Whoe'er tliou art, reader ! know. 
That death has murder'd Johnnie ! 

And here his body Hes fu' low — • 
For soul he ne'er had onj. 

FOR THE author's FATHER. 

YE whose check the tear of pity stains, 
Draw near with pious reverence and attend ! 

Here lie the loving husband's dear remains, 
The tender father, and the generous friend. 

The pitying heart that felt for human woe ; 

The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride , 
The friend of man, to vice alone a foe ; 

'For even his failings lean'd to virtue's side.'^ 



Know thou, stranger to the tame 
Of this much loved, much honour'd name ! 
(For none that knew him need be told) 
A warmer heart death ne'er made cold. 


The poor man weeps — here Gavin sleeps, 
AVhom canting wretches blamed ; 

But with such as he — where'er he be, 
May I be saved or damn'd ! 

A bard's epitaph. 

1 Is there a whim-inspired fool, 

Ovvre fast for thought, owre hot for rule, 

' ' Wee Jolinny : ' Wilson, the printer of Burns' Kihnarnock edition. 
' Virtue's side : ' Goldsmith. 


Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool, 

Let him draw near ; 

And owre this grassy heap sing dool, 

And drap a tear. 

2 Is there a bard of rustic song. 

Who, noteless, steals the crowds among, 
That weekly this area throng, 

Oh, pass not by ! 
But, with a frater-feeling strong, 

Here heave a sigh. 

3 Is there a man, whose judgment clear, 
Can others teach the course to steer, 
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career. 

Wild as the wave ; 
Here pause — and, through the starting tear, 

Survey this grave. 

4 The poor inhabitant below 

Was quick to learn, and wise to know. 
And keenly felt the friendly glow. 

And softer flame ; 
But thoughtless follies laid him low, 

And staiu'd his name ! 

5 Reader, attend — whether thy soul 
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole, 
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole, 

In low pursuit ; 

Know, prudent, cautious, self-control. 

Is wisdom's root. 




1 Hear, Land o' Cakes, and britlier Scots, 
Frae Maidenkirk to Jolmnj Groat's ; 

If there 's a whole in a' joiir coats, 

I rede you tent it : 

A cliiel 's amang you taking notes, 

And, faith ! he '11 prent it. 

2 If in your bounds ye chance to light 
Upon a fine, fat, fodgel wight, 

0' stature short, but e^enius bridit. 

That 's he, mark weel — 

And wow ! he has an unco slight 

0' cauk and keel 

3 By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin', 
Or kirk deserted by its riggin', 

It 's ten to ane ye '11 find him snug in 

Some eldritch part, 

Wi' deils, they say, L save 's ! colleaguin' 

At some black art. 

4 Ilk ghaist tliat haunts auld ha' or chaumer. 
Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour, 

And you deep-red in hell's black grammar. 

Warlocks and witches ; 

Ye '11 quake at his conjuring hammer, 

Ye midnight bitches. 

' ' Captain Grose : ' a fat and funny Englishman, author of many works on 
Antiquities, in one of vvliicb ' Tam o' Shanter ' first appeared. 

OS CAPTAIN Grose's pehegrinations, etc. 221 

5 It 's tauld he was a soclger bred, 
And ane wad rather fa'n than fled ; 
But now he 's quat the spurtle blade, 

And dog-skin wallet, 
And ta'en the— Antiquarian trade, 

I think they call it. 

6 He has a foiith o' auld nick-nackets : 
Rusty airn caps and jinglin' jackets, 
Wad hand the Lothians three in tackets, 

A towmont guid ; 
And parritch-pats, and auld saut-backets, 

Before the Flood. 

7 Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder ; 
Auld Tubal-Cain's fire-shool and fender ; 
That which distinguished the gender 

0' Balaam's ass ; 
A broom-stick o' the witch o' Endor, 

Weel shod wi' brass. 

8 Forbje, he '11 shape you afF, fu' gleg, 
The cut of Adam's philibeg ; 

The knife that nicket Abel's craig, 

He '11 prove you fully, 

It was a faulding jokteleg, 

Or lang-kail gullic. 

9 But wad ye see him in his glee, 
For meikle glee and fun has he, 
Then set him down, and twa or three 

Guid fellows wi' him; 
. And port, port ! shine thou a wee, 

And then ye '11 see him ! 

222 burns' poems. 

10 Now, by the powers o' verse and prose, 
Thou art a dainty chicl, Grose ! 
Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose, 

They sair niisca' thee ; 
I 'd take the rascal by the nose. 

Wad say, Shame fa' thee ! 




Beauteous rose-bud, young and gay, 

Blooming in thy early ]\Iay, 

Never may'st thou, lovely flower, 

Chilly shrink in sleety shower ! 

Never Boreas' hoary path, 

Never Eurus' poisonous breath, 

Never baleful stellar lights, 

Taint thee with untimely blights ! 

Never, never reptile thief 

Riot on thy virgin leaf! lo 

Nor even Sol too fiercely view 

Thy bosom blushing still with dew ! 

Mayst thou long, sweet crimson gem. 
Richly deck thy native stem ; 
Till some evening, sober, calm, 
Dropping dews, and breathing balm, 
While all around the woodland rinirs. 
And every bird thy requiem sings ; 


' ' Miss Crniksbauks : ' daughter of William CruiksLanks, a teacher in the 
High School, Edinburgh. 


Thou, amid the dirgeful sound, 19 

Shed thy dyiug honours round, 

And resign to parent earth 

The loveliest form she e're gaye birth. 


1 Anna, thy charms mj bosom fire, 

And waste mj soul with care ; 
But ah ! how bootless to admire, 
When fated to despair! 

2 Yet in tlij presence, lovely fair ! 

To hope may be forgiven ; 
For sure 'twere impious to despair, 
So much in sight of heaven. 




THE author's. 

1 Sad thy tale, thou idle page. 
And rueful thy alarms — 
Death tears the brother of her love 
From Isabella's arms. 

' ' M'Leod : ' of Raasay. His sister Isabella was a favourite of Buitis, who 
composed on Ler liis bodjj, ' Roaring wiuds around Iier blowing.' 

224 burns' poems. 

2 Sweetly dcck'd with pearly clew 

The morning rose may blow ; 
But cold successive noontide blasts 
May lay its beauties low. 

3 Fair on Isabella's mora 

The sun propitious smiled; 
But, long ere noon, succeeding clouds 
Succeeding hopes beguiled. 

4 Fate oft tears the bosom chords 

That nature finest strung: 
So Isabella's heart was form'd, 
And so that heart was wrung. 

5 Were it in the poet's power, 

Strong as he shares the grief 
That pierces Isabella's heart, 
To give that heart relief! 

6 Dread Omnipotence, alone, 

Can heal the wound he gave ; 
Can point the brimful grief-worn eyes 
To scenes beyond the grave. 

7 Virtue's blossoms there shall blow. 

And fear no withering blast; 
There Isabella's spotless worth 
Shall happy be at last. 




1 ;My Lord, I know jonr noble ear 

Woe ne'er assails in vain : 
Embolden'cl thus, I beg you '11 hear 

Your humble slave complain, 
How saucj Phoebus' scorching beams, 

In flaming summer-pride, 
Drj-withering, waste my foamy streams, 

And drink my crystal tide. 

2 The lightly-jumping glowrin' trouts 

That through my waters play, 
If, in their random, wanton spouts. 

They near the margin stray; 
If, hapless chance ! they linger lang 

I 'm scorching up so shallow. 
They 're left the whitening stanes amang, 

In gasping death to wallow. 

3 Last day I grat wi' spite and teen, 

As Poet Burns came by. 
That to a bard I should be seen 

Wi' half my channel dry : 
A panegyric rhyme, I ween. 

Even as I was he shored me ; 
But had I in my glory been. 

He, kneeling, wad adored me 

' ' Bruar Wafer:' Bruar Falls, in Atliole, are exceedingly picturesque and 
beautiful ; but their effect is much impaired by the want of trees and shrubs. 
—B. This defect has long ago been supplied. 


226 burns' poems. 

4 Here, foaming down the slielvy roclis, 

In twisting strength I rin ; 
There, liigh my boiling torrent smokes, 

Wild-roaring o'er a linn : 
Enjoying large each spring and well 

As Nature gave them me, 
I am, although I say't mysel'. 

Worth gaun a mile to see. 

5 AVould, then, my noble master please 

To grant my highest wishes. 
He '11 shade my banks wi' towering trees, 

And bonnie spreading bushes ; 
Delighted doubly then, my lord, 

You '11 wander on my banks. 
And listen mony a grateful bird 

Return you tuneful thanks. 

6 The sober laverock, warbling wild, 

Shall to the skies aspire ; 
The gowdspiuk, music's gayest child, 

Shall sweetly join the choir : 
The blackbird strong, the lintwhitc clear, 

The mavis mild and mellow ; 
The robin pensive autumn cheer, 

In all her locks of yellow : 

7 This too, a covert shall insure. 

To shield them from the storm ; 
And coward maukin sleep secure. 

Low in her grassy form : 
Here shall the shepherd make his seat. 

To weave his crown of flowers ; 
Or find a sheltering safe retreat, 

From prone descending showers. 


8 And here, by SM-eet endearing stealth. 

Shall meet the loving pair. 
Despising worlds, with all their wealth, 

As empty idle care : 
The flowers shall vie in all their charms 

The hour of heaven to grace. 
And birks extend their fragrant arms, 

To screen the dear embrace. 

9 Here haply too, at vernal dawn. 

Some musing bard may stray, 
And eye the smoking, dewy lawn, 

And misty mountain, gray ; 
Or, by the reaper's nightly beam, 

Mild-chequering through the trees, 
Ptave to my darkly dashing stream, 

Hoarse-swelling on the breeze. 

10 Let lofty firs, and ashes cool. 

My lowly banks o'erspread, 
And view, deep-bending in the pool, 

Their shadows' watery bed ! 
Let fragrant birks in woodbines dress'd 

My craggy cliffs adorn ; 
And, for the little songster's nest, 

The close embowering thorn. 

11 So may old Scotia's darling hope. 

Your little angel band. 
Spring, like their fathers, up to prop 

Their honour'd native land ! 
So may through Albion's farthest ken. 

To social-flowing glasses, 
The grace be — * Athole's honest men, 

And Athole's bouuic lasses ! ' 

228 BUKNS' rOEMS. 



Why, ye tenants of tlie lake, 

For me your watery haunt forsake ? 

Tell me, fellow-creatures, why 

At my presence thus you fly ? 

Why disturb your social joys, 

Parent, fiilial, kindred ties 1 

Common friend to you and me. 

Nature's gifts to all are free : 

Peaceful keep your dimpling wave, 

Busy feed, or wanton lave : lo 

Or, beneath the sheltering rock. 

Bide the surging billow's shock. 

Conscious, blushing for our race, 
Soon, too soon, your fears I trace. 
Man, your proud usurping foe, 
Would be lord of all below : 
Plumes himself in Freedom's pride, 
Tvrant stern to all beside. 
The eagle, from the cliffy brow, 
Marking you his prey below, 20 

In his breast no pity dwells. 
Strong necessity compels : 
But man, to whom alone is given 
A ray direct from pitying Heaven, 
Glories in his heart humane — 
And creatures for his pleasure slain. 
In these savage, liquid plains, 
Only known to wandering swains, 

1 1 

Ochtertyre : ' near Crieff, Perthshire, a place of exquisite beauty, as 

Loch-Turit is of wikl and savage grandeur. 


Where the mossy riv'let stvcays, 29 

Far from human haunts and ways, 

All on Nature you depend, 

And life's poor season peaceful spend. 

Or, if man's superior might, 
Dare invade your native right, 
On the lofty ether borne, 
Man with all his powers you scorn ; 
Swiftly seek, on clanging wings. 
Other lakes and other springs ; 
And the foe you cannot brave, 
Scorn at least to be his slave. 40 



Admiring Nature in her wildest grace, 

These northern scenes with weary feet I trace ; 

O'er many a winding dale and painful steep, 

The abodes of covied grouse and timid sheep, 

My savage journey, curious, I pursue, 

Till famed Breadalbaue opens to my view. 

The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides. 

The woods, wdld-scatter'd, clothe their ample sides ; 

The outstretching lake, embosom'cl 'mong the hills. 

The eye with wonder and amazement fills ; 10 

The Tay meandering sweet in infant pride. 

The palace rising on its verdant side; 

The lawns wood-fringed in Nature's native taste ; 

The hillocks dropt in Nature's careless haste; 


The arclies striding o'er the neM^-born stream; 15 

The viUage, glittering in the noontide beam — 

Poetic ardours in my bosom swell, 

Lone wandering by the hermit's mossy cell : 

The sweeping theatre of hanging woods ; 

The incessant roar of headlong tumblino- floods— 20 

-.5 ULllUMll.i^ 

Here Poesy miglit wake her heaven-taught lyre, 

And look through nature with creative fire ; 

Here, to the wrongs of Fate half reconciled, 

Misfortune's lighten'd steps might wander Mild ; 

And Disappointment, in these lonely bounds, 

Find balm to soothe her bitter ranklino; wounds ; 

Here heart-struck Grief might heavenward stretch her scan, 

And injured Worth forget and pardon man. 



Among the heathy hills and ragged woods 

The roaring Fyers pours his mossy floods ; 

Till full he dashes on the rocky mounds, 

Where, through a shapeless breach, his stream resounds. 

As high in air the bursting torrents flow. 

As deep recoiling surges foam below ; 

Prone down the rock the whitening sheet descends, 

And viewless Echo's ear, astonish'd, rends. 

Dim-seen, through rising mists, and ceaseless showers, 

The hoary cavern, wide-surrounding, lowers. 10 

' ' Fyers : ' more frequently now printed Foyers. 


Still through the gap the struggling river toils, ii 

And still below, the horrid cauldron boils — 



1 Sweet flow'ret, pledge o' meikle love. 
And ward o' mony a prayer. 
What heart o' stane wad thou na move, 
Sae helpless, sweet, and fair ! 

J November hirples o'er the lea. 
Chill, on thy lovely form ; 
And gane, alas ! the sheltering tree, 
Should shield thee frae the storm. 

3 May He who gives the rain to pour, 

And wings the blast to blaw. 
Protect thee frae the driving shower, 
The bitter frost and snaw ! 

4 May He, the friend of woe and want, 

Who heals life's various stounds, 
Protect and guard the mother-plant. 
And heal her cruel wounds ! 

5 But late she flourish'd, rooted fast, 

Fair on the summer morn : 
Now feebly bends she in the blast, 
Unshelter'd and forlorn : 

' ' Posthumous child : ' grand-child of Mrs Dunlop, whose daughter had 
married M. Henri, a Frenciiman. This son, after many vici.ssitudes, suc- 
ceeded to his paternal estates. The father had died ere tlie birth. 

232 burns' poems. 

6 Bicst be thy bloom, tlioii lovely gem, 
Unscathed by ruffian hand ! 
And from thee many a parent stem 
Arise to deck om- laud ! 


As the authentic prose history of tlic whistle is curious, I sliall here give it. 
lu the train of Anne of Denmark, when she came to Scotland with our 
James the Sixth, there came over also a Danish gentleman of gigantic 
stature and great prowess, and a matchless champion of Bacchus. He 
had a little ebony whistle, which at the commencement of the orgies he 
laid on the table, and whoever was last able to blow it, every body else 
being disabled by the potency of the bottle, was to carry off the whistle 
as a trophy of victory. The Dane produced credentials of his victories, 
without a single defeat, at the courts of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Moscow, 
Warsaw, and several of the petty courts in Germany ; and challenged the 
Scots bacchanalians to the alternative of trying his prowess, or else of 
acknowledging their inferiority. After many overthrows on the part of 
the Scots, the Dane was encountered by Sir Robert Lawrie of Maxwelton, 
ancestor of the present worthy baronet of that name : who, after three 
days and three nights' hard contest, left the Scandinavian under the table, 

' And blew on the whistle his requiem shrill.' 

Sir Walter, son to Sir Robert before-mentioned, afterwards lost the whistle 
to Walter Riddel of Glenriddel, wlio had married a sister of Sir Walter's. 
On Friday, the 16th of October 1790, at Friars-Carse, the whistle 
was once more contended for, as related in the ballad, by the present 
Sir Robert Lawrie of Maxwelton ; Robert Riddel, Esq. of Glenriddel, 
lineal descendant and representative of Walter Riddel, who won the 
whistle, and in whose family it had continued ; and Alexander 
Ferguson, Esq. of Craigdarroch, likewise descended of the great Sir 
Robert ; which last gentleman carried off the hard-won honours of the 
field.— £. 

1 I SING of a whistle,^ a whistle of worth, 
I sing of a whistle, the pride of the North, 
Was brought to the court of our good Scottish king, 
And long with this whistle all Scotland shall ring. 

' ' Whistle : ' Burns was present at this bacchanalian encounter, and wrote 
the poem in the room. 


2 Old Loda,i still rueing the arm of Fiiigal, 

The god of the bottle sends down from his hall — 
' This whistle 's your challenge — to Scotland get o'er, 
And drink them to hell, Sir, or ne'er see me morel' 

3 Old poets have sung, and old chronicles tell, 
What champions ventured, what champions fell ; 
The son of great Loda was conqueror still. 
And blew on the whistle his requiem shrill. 

4 Till Robert, the lord of the Cairn and the Skarr,^ 
Unmatch'd at the bottle, unconquer'd in war. 

He drank his poor godship as deep as the sea — 
No tide of the Baltic e'er drunker than he. 

5 Thus Robert, victorious, the trophy has gain'd, 
Which now in his house has for ages remain'd ; 
Till three noble chieftains, and all of his blood, 
The jovial contest again have renew'd. 

6 Three joyous good fellows, with hearts clear of flaw : 
Craigdarroch, so famous for wit, worth, and law ; 
And trusty Glenriddel, so skill'd in old coins ; 

And gallant Sir Robert, deep read in old wines. 

7 Craigdarroch began, with a tongue smooth as oil. 
Desiring Glenriddel to yield up the spoil ; 

Or else he would muster the heads of the clan. 
And once more, in claret, try which was the man, 

8 ' By the gods of the ancients,' Glenriddel replies, 
' Before I surrender so glorious a prize, 

I '11 conjure the ghost of the great Rorie More,^ 
And bumper his horn with him twenty times o'er.' 

' ' Old Loda : ' See Ossian's Caric-tliura. —B. — ''^ ' Cairn and Skarr : ' 
tributaries to the Nilli. — * ' Rorie More : ' See Johnson's ' Tour to the 
Hebrides.'— yj. 

234 burns' poems. 

9 Sir Robert, a soldier, no speech would pretend, 
But he ne'er turn'd his back on his foe, or his friend, 
Said, Toss down the whistle, the prize of the field, 
And, knee-deep in claret, he 'd die or he 'd yield. 

1 To the board of Glenriddel our heroes repair. 
So noted for drowning of sorrow and care ; 

But for wine and for welcome not more known to fame. 
Than the sense, wit, and taste of a sweet Welj dame. 

1 1 A Bard was elected to witness the fraj, 
x\nd tell future ages the feats of the day ; 

A Bard who detested all sadness and spleen, 
And wish'd that Parnassus a vineyard had been. 

1 2 The dinner being over, the claret they ply, 
And every new cork is a new spring of joy; ' 
In the bands of old friendship and kindred so set, 
And the bands grew the tighter the more they were 


13 Gay pleasure ran riot as bumpers ran o'er ; 
Bright Phcebus ne'er witness'd so joyous a core, 
And vow'd that to leave them he was quite forlorn, 
Till Cynthia hinted he 'd see them next morn. 

14 Six bottles a-piece had well M'ore out the night, 
When gallant Sir Robert, to finish the fight, 
Turn'd o'er in one bumper a bottle of red. 

And swore 'twas the way that their ancestor did. 

15 Then worthy Glenriddel, so cautious and sage, 
No longer the warfare, ungodly, would wage ; 
A high ruling-elder to wallow in wine ! 

lie left the foul business to folks less divine. 


16 The gallant Sir Robert fought hard to the end ; 
But who can with fate and quart bumpers contend 1 
Though Fate said — a hero should perish in light ; 
So uprose bright Phcebus — and down fell the knight. 

17 Next uprose our Bard, like a prophet in drink : — 

' Craigdarroch, thou It soar when creation shall sink ! 
But if thou would flourish immortal in rhyme, 
Come — one bottle more — and have at the sublime ! 

1 8 ' Thy line, that have struggled for freedom with Bruce, 
Shall heroes and patriots ever produce ; 

So thine be the laurel, and mine be the bay ; 

The field thou hast won, by yon bright god of day ! ' 



AuLD Neibour, 

1 I 'm three times doubly owrc your debtor, 
For your auld-farrant, frien'ly letter ; 
Though I maun say 't, I doubt you flatter, 

Ye speak sae fair, 
For my puir, silly, rhymin' clatter 

Some less maun sair. 

2 Hale be your heart, hale be your fiddle ; 
Lang may your elbuck jink an' diddle, 

' ' Brother poet: ' this was prefixed to the poems of David Sillar, published 
at Kilmarnock, 1789. 

236 burns' poems. 


To cheer jou tlirougli tlie wcarj widdle 

0' war'ly cares, 

Till bairns' bairns kindly cuddle 

Your auld gray hairs. 

But, Davie lad, I 'm red ye 're glaikit ; 
I 'm tauld the Muse ye hae negleckit ; 
And gif it 's sac, ye sud be licket 

Until ye fyke; 
Sic hauns as you sud ne'er be faiket, 

Be hain't ^Yha like. 

4 For me, I 'm on Parnassus' brink, 
Rivin' the words to gar them clink ; 

AVhyles daez't wi' love, whyles daez't wi" drinl{, 

Wi' jauds or masons; 

And whyles, but aye owre late, I think 

Braw sober lessons. 

5 Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man, 
Common' me to the bardie clan; 
Except it be some idle plan 

0' rhymin' clink. 
The devil-hae't, that I sud ban. 

They ever think. 

6 Nae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' livin', 
Nae cares to gie us joy or grievin' : 

But just the pouchie put the nieve in. 

And while ought 's there. 

Then, hiltie skiltie, we gae scrievin' 

And fash nae mair. 

7 Leeze me on rhyme! it's aye a treasure, 
My chief, amaist my only pleasure, 


At hame, a-fiel', at wark, or leisure, 

The Muse, poor hizzie ! 

Though rough an' raploch be her measure 

She 's seldom lazy. 

8 Haud to the Muse, my dainty Davie : 
The warl' may play you mony a shavie ; 
But for the Muse, she '11 never leave ye. 

Though e'er sae puir, 
Na, even though limpin' \vi' the spavie 

Frae door to door. 


Tune — ' The Lea-rig.' 

1 When o'er the hill the eastern star. 

Tells bughtin-time is near, my jo ; 
And owsen frae the furrow 'd field 

Return sae dowf and weary ! 
Down by the burn where scented birks 

Wi' dew are hanging clear, my jo, 
I '11 meet thee on the lea-rig, 

My ain kind dearie ! 

2 In mirkest glen, at midnight hour, , 

I 'd rove and ne'er be eerie ! 
If through that glen I gaed to thee. 

My ain kind dearie ! 
Although the night were ne'er sae wild, 

And I were ne'er sae weary ! 
I 'd meet thee on the lea-rig. 

My ain kind dearie ! 


3 The hunter lo'es the morning sun, 

To rouse the mountain deer, mj jo ; 
At noon the fisher seeks the glen, 

Along the burn to steer, my jo ; 
Gie me the hour o' gloamin' gray. 

It maks my heart sae cheerie ! 
To meet thee on the lea-rig, 

My ain kind dearie ! 


Tune — ' Ewe-huglds! 

1 Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, 

And leave auld Scotia's shore % 
Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, 
Across the Atlantic's roar '? 

2 Oh! sweet grow the lime and the orange, 

And the apple on the pine ; 
But a' the charms o' the Indies 
Can never equal thine. 

3 I hae sworn by the Heavens to my Mary, 

I hae sworn by the Heavens to be true ; 
And sae may the Heavens forget me. 
When I forget my vow ! 

4 Oh ! plight me your faith, my Mary, 

And plight me your lily-white hand ; 
Oh plight me your fiiith, my Mary, 
Before I leave Scotia's strand. 


AVe hae plighted our troth, my Mary, 

In mutual affection to join ; 
And cursed be the cause that shall part us ! 

The hour and the moment o' time ! 


1 She is a winsome wee thing, 
She is a handsome wee thing, 
She is a bonny wee thing, 
This sweet wee wife o' mine. 

2 I never saw a fairer, 

I never lo'ed a dearer. 

And neist my heart I '11 wear her, 

For fear my jewel tine. 

3 She is a winsome wee thing. 
She is a handsome wee thing, 
She is a bonnie wee thing, 
This sweet wee wife o' mine. 

4 The warld's wrack we share o't. 
The warstle and the care o't ; 
Wi' her I '11 blithely bear it, 
And think my lot divine. 

240 burns' poems. 


1 On saw yc boniiic Lesley, 

As she gaed o'er the Border 1 
She 's gane, like Alexander, 

To spread her conquests farther. 

2 To see her is to love her, 

And love but her for ever ; 
For Nature made her what she is, 
And never made anither ! 

3 Thou art a queen, fair Lesley, 

Thy subjects we, before thee : 
Thou art divine, fair Lesley, 
The hearts o' men adore thee. 

4 The Deil he could na scaith thee, 

Or aught that wad belang thee ; 
He 'd look into thy bonnie face. 
And say, 'I canna wrang thee !' 

5 The Powers aboon will tent thee, 

Misfortune sha' ua steer thee ; 
Thou 'rt like themselves sae lovely, 
That ill they '11 ne'er let near thee. 

6 Return again, fair Lesley, 

Return to Caledouie ! 
That we may brag, we hae a lass 
There 's nane again sae bonnie. 

' ' Lesley : ' an Ayrshire girl, Miss Lesley Baillie, afterwards Mrs Gumming 
of Logie. 



Tune — 'Katharine Ogie' 

1 Ye banks, and braes, and streams around 

The castle o' Montgomery, 
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers, 

Your waters never drumlie 1 
There simmer first unfald her robes, 

And there the langest tarry : 
For there I took the last fareweel 

0' my sweet Highland Mary ! 

2 How sweetly bloom'd the gay green birk, 

How rich the hawthorn's blossom, 
As underneath their fragrant shade, 

I clasp'd her to my bosom ! 
The golden hours, on angel wings, 

Flew o'er me and my dearie ; 
For dear to me as light and life. 

Was my sweet Highland Mary. 

3 Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace, 

Our parting was fu' tender ; 
And, pledging aft to meet again. 

We tore oursels asunder ; 
But oh ! fell Death's untimely frost, 

That nipt my flower sae early ! 
Now green 's the sod, and cauld 's the clay, 

That wraps my Highland Mary ! 

4 Oh pale, pale now, those rosy lips, 
I aft hae kiss'd sac fondly ! 
And closed for aye, the sparkling glance. 
That dwelt on me sae kindly ! 

242 burns' poems. 

And mouldering now in silent dust 
That heart that lo'cd me dearly ! 

But still within my bosom's core, 
Shall live my Highland Mary. 


1 Theee 's auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen, 
He 's the king o' guid fellows and wale of auld men ; 
He has gowd in his coffers, he has owsen and kine. 
And ae bonnie lassie, his darling and mine. 

2 She 's fresh as the morning, the fairest in May ; 
She 's sweet as the evening amang the new hay ; 
As blithe and as artless as the lambs on the lea, 
And dear to my heart as the light to my e'e. 

3 But oh ! she 's an heiress, auld Robin 's a laird. 

And my daddie has nought but a cot-house and yard ; 
A wooer like me maunna hope to come speed, 
The wounds I must hide that will soon be my dead. 

4 The day comes to me, but delight brings me nane ; 
The night comes to me, but my rest it is gane : 

I wander my lane like a night-troubled ghaist, 
And I sigh as my heart it wad bui'st in my breast. 

5 Oh had she but been of a lower degree, 

I then might hae hoped she wad smiled upon me ! 
Oh, how past descriving had then been my bliss, 
As now my distraction no words can express ! 



1 Duncan Gray cam here to woo, 

Ha, lia, the wooing o't, 
On bhthe Yule night when we were fu'. 

Ha, ha, the wooing o't. 
Maggie coost her head fu' high, 
Look'd askleut and unco skeigh, 
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh ; 

Ha, ha, the wooing o't. 

2 Duncan fleech'd, and Duncan praj'd : 

Ha, ha, &c. ; 
Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig, 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Duncan sigli'd baith out and in, 
Grat his e'en baith bleert and Win', 
Spak' o' loupin' o'er a linn ; 

Ha, ha, &c. 

3 Time and chance are but a tide. 

Ha, ha, &c. ; 
Shghted love is sair to bide, 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he, 
For a haughty hizzie die 1 
She may gae to France for me ! 

Ha, ha, &c. 

4 How it comes let doctors tell. 

Ha, ha, &c. ; 
Meg grew sick — as he gi*ew heal, 
Ha, ha, &c. 

244 burns' roEMS. 

Something in licr bosom wrings, 
For relief a sigh she brings ; 
And oh, her e'en, they spak sic things ! 
Ha, ha, &c. 

5 Duncan was a lad o' grace. 

Ha, ha, &c. ; 
Maggie's was a piteous case. 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Duncan couldna be her death, 
Swelling pity smoor'd his wrath ; 
Now they 're crouse and canty baith, 

Ha, ha, the wooing o't. 

Tune — ' / had a horse.'' 

POOETITH cauld, and restless love, 
Ye wreck my peace between ye ; 
Yet poortith a' I could forgive, 
An' 'twere na for my Jeauie. 

Ob why should Fate sic pleasure have. 

Life's dearest bands untwining 1 
Or why sae sweet a flower as love, 
Depend on Fortune's shining 1 

This warld's wealth when I think on, 

Its pride, and a' the lave o't ; 
Fie, fie on silly coward man. 

That he should be the slave o't. 
Oh why, &c. 


3 Her e'en sae bonny blue betray 

How she repays my passion ; 
But prudence is her o'erword aye, 

She talks of rank and fashion. • 

Oh why, &c. 

4 Oh wha can prudence think upon, 

And sic a lassie by him ? 
Oh wha can prudence think upon, 
And sae in love as I am "? 
Oh why, &c. 

5 How blest the humble cottar's fate ! 

He woos his simple dearie ; 
The silly bogles, wealth and state, 
Can never make them eerie. 

Oh why should fate sic pleasure have, 

Life's dearest bands untwining 1 
Or why sae sweet a flower as love. 
Depend on Fortune's shining 1 


1 There's braw, braw lads on Yarrow braes. 

That wander through the blooming heather 
But Yarrow braes, nor Ettrick shaws. 
Can match the lads o' Gala water. 

2 But there is ane, a secret ane, 

Aboon them a' I lo'e him better ; 
And I '11 be his, and he '11 be mine, 
The bonnie lad o' Gala water. 


3 xVlthoiigli his daddic was nae laird, 

And tlioiigli I hae nae meikle tocher ; 
Yet, rich in kindest, truest love, 
, We '11 tent our flocks bj Gala water. 

4 It ne'er was wealth, it ne'er was wealth, 

That coft contentment, peace, or pleasure ; 
The bands and bliss o' mutual love, 
Oh that 's the chiefest warld's treasure ! 


1 Oh mirk, mirk is this midnight hour. 

And loud the tempest's roar ; 
A waefu' wanderer seeks thy tower. 
Lord Gregory, ope thy door. 

2 An exile frae her father's ha', 

And a' for loving thee ; 
At least some pity on me shaw. 
If love it may na be, 

3 Lord Gregory, mind'st thou not the grove, 

By bonnie Irwin side, 
Where first I own'd that virgin-love 
I lang, lang had denied ? 

4 How aften didst thou pledge and vow 

Thou wad for aye be mine ; 
And my fond heart, itsel' sae true, 
It ne'er mistrusted thine. 


5 Hard is thy heart, Lord Gregory, 

And flinty is thy breast — 
Thou dart of heaven that flashest by, ■ 
Oh wilt thou give me rest ! 

6 Ye mustering thunders from above 

Your willing victim see ! 
But spare, and pardon my fause love 
His wrangs to Heaven and me ! 


Tune — ' Bide ye yet' 

1 Mary, at thy window be. 

It is the wish'd, the trysted hour ! 
Those smiles and glances let me see, 

That make the miser's treasure poor : 
How blithely wad I bide the stoure, 

A weary slave frae sun to sun : 
Could I the rich reward secure, 

The lovely ^Mary Morison. 

2 Yestreen, when, to the trembling string, 

The dance gaed through the lighted ha', 
To thee my fancy took its wing, 

I sat, but neither heard nor saw : 
Though this was fair, and that was braw, 

And yon the toast of a' the town, 
I sigh'd, and said amang them a', 

' Ye are na Mary Morison.' 


3 Oil, Mary, canst tliou wreck his peace, 

Wlia for thy sake wad gladly die 1 
Or canst thou break that heart of his, 

Whase only faut is loving thee ? 
If love for love thou wilt na gie, 

At least be pity to me shown ; 
A thousht uno;cntlc canna be 

The thought o' Mary Morison. 


1 IIeue awa, there awa, wandering WilHe, 

Now tired wi' wandering, hand awa hame ! 
Come to my bosom my ae only dearie. 

And tell me thou bring'st me my WilHe the same. 

2 Loud blew the cauld winter winds at our parting ; 

It was nae the blast brought the tear in my e'e : 
Now welcome the simmer, and welcome my Willie, 
The simmer to Nature, my Willie to me. 

3 Ye hurricanes, rest in the cave o' your slumbers I 

Oh, how your wild horrors a lover alarms ! 
Awaken, ye breezes, row gently ye billows, 

And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms. 

4 But if he 's forgotten his faithfullest Nanny, 

Oh, still flow between us, thou wide roaring main ; 
May I never see it, may I never trow it. 

But, dying, believe that my Willie 's my ain ! 

JESSIE. 249 



1 ' Oh open the door, some pitj to s1iom% 

Oh, open the door to me, ! 
Though tliou hast been false, I '11 ever prove true, 
Ob, open the door to me, ! 

2 ' Cauld is the blast upon my pale cheek, 

But caulder thy love for me, ! 
The frost that freezes the life at my heart, 
Is nought to my pains frae thee, ! 

3 ' The wan moon is setting behind the white wave, 

And time is setting with me, ! 
False friends, false love, farewell ! for mair 
1 11 ne'er trouble them, nor thee, 1 ' 

4 She has open'd the door, she has open'd it wide ; 

She sees his pale corse on the plain, ! 
' My true love ! ' she cried, and sank down by his side. 
Never to rise again, ! 

Tune — ' Bonnie Dundee.' 

1 True hearted was he, the sad swain o' the YarroAv, 
And fair are the maids on the banks o' the Ayr, 
But by the sweet side of the Nith's winding river, 
Arc lovers as faithful, and maidens as fair ; 


To equal young Jessie seek Scotland all over ; 

To equal young Jessie you seek it in vain ; 
Grace, beauty, and elegance, fetter her lover, 

And maidenly modesty fixes the chain. 

2 Oh, fresh is the rose in the gay, dewy morning, 

And sweet is the lily at evening close ; 
But in tlie fair presence o' lovely young Jessie, 

Unseen is the lily, unheeded the rose. 
Love sits in her smile, a wizard ensnaring ; 

Enthroned in her e'en he delivers his law : 
And still to her charms she alone is a stranger !- 

Her modest demeanour 's the jewel of a'. 



Air—' The mill, mill /' 

1 When wild war's deadly blast M'as blawn, 

And gentle peace returning, 
Wi' mony a sweet babe fatherless. 

And mony a widow mourning : 
I left the lines and tented field, 

Where lang I 'd been a lodger. 
My humble knapsack a' my -wealth, 

A poor and honest sodger. 

2 A leal, light heart was in my breast, 

My hand unstain'd wi' plunder : 
And for fair Scotia, hame again, 
I cheerie on did wander. 


I thought upon the banks o' Coil, 

I thought upon my Nancj, 
I thought upon the witching smile 

That caught my youthful fancy. 

3 At length I reach'd the bonnie glen, 

Where early life I sported ; 
I pass'd the mill, and try sting thorn, 

Where Nancy aft I courted : 
Wha spied I but my ain dear maid, 

Down by her mother's dwelling ! 
And turn'd me round to liide the flood 

That in my e'en was swelling. 

4 Wi' alter'd voice, quoth I, ' Sweet lass, 

Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom, 
Oh ! happy, happy may he be, 

That 's dearest to thy bosom ! 
My purse is light, I 've far to gang, 

And fain would be thy lodger ; 
I We served my king and country lang, — 

Take pity on a sodger.' 

5 Sae wistfully she gazed on me, 

And lovelier was than ever ; 
Quo' she, ' A sodger ance I lo'ed, 

Fomet him shall I never : 
Our humble cot and haraely fare. 

Ye freely shall partake o 't ; 
That gallant badge, the dear cockade, 

Ye 're welcome for the sake o 't/ 

6 She gazed — she redden'd like a rose — 

Syne pale like ony lily ; 
She sank within my arms, and cried, 
' Art thou my ain dear Willie "? ' 

252 burns' poems. 

' By Him who made yon sun and sky — 
By whom true love 's regarded, 

I am tlie man : and thus may still 
True lovers be rewarded. 

7 'The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame, 

And hud thee still true-hearted ! 
Though poor in gear, we 're rich in love, 

And mair we 'se ne'er be parted.' 
Quo' she, ' My grandsire left me gowd, 

A mailen plenish'd fairly ; 
And come, my faithfu' sodger lad, 

Thou 'rt welcome to it dearly.' 

8 For gold the merchant ploughs the main, 

The farmer ploughs the manor ; 
But glory is the sodger's prize, 

The sodger's wealth is honour ; 
The brave poor sodger ne'er despise. 

Nor count him as a stranger ! 
Remember he 's his country's stay. 

In day and hour of danger. 

^ijj — ' Q honnie lass, ivill you lie in a barrachf 

1 Oh, ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten, 
An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten 1 
She has gotten a coof wi' a claut o' siller. 
And broken the heart o' the barley miller. 

SONG. 253 

2 The miller was strappiu', the miller was riiddj ; 
A heart like a lord, and a hue like a ladj : 
The laird M-as a widdiefu', bleerit knurl ; 

She 's left the guid-fellow and ta'eu the churl. 

3 The miller he hecht her a heart leal and loving : 
The laird did address her wi' matter mair moving, 
A fine pacing-horse \vi' a clear-chained briddle, 

A whip by her side, and a bonnie side-saddle. 

4 Oh wae on the siller, it is sae prevailing ; 
And wae on the love that is fix'd on a mailen ! 
A tocher's nae word in a true lover's parle. 
But, gie me mj love, and a fig for the warl' ! 

Tune — 'Liggeram Cosh' 

1 Blithe hae I been on jon hill. 

As the lambs before me ; 
Careless ilka thought and free, 

As the breeze flew o'er me; 
Now nae langer sport and plaj. 

Mirth or sang can please me; 
Lesley is sae fair and coy, 

Care and anguish seize me. 

2 Heavy, heavy, is the task. 

Hopeless love declaring: 
Trembling, I dow nocht but glower, 
Sighing, dumb, despairing 1 

254 burns' poems. 

If she winna case the thraws 
In my bosom swelling; 

Underneath the grass-green sod, 
Soon maim be ray dwelling- 


Tune — 'Logan Water' 

Oh, Logan, sweetly didst thou glide 
That day I was my Willie's bride ! 
And years siusyne hae o'er us run, 
Like Logan to the simmer sun. 
But now thy flowery banks appear 
Like drumlie winter, dark and drear, 
While my dear lad maun face his faes. 
Far, far frae me and Logan braes. 

Again the merry month o' May 

Has made our hills and valleys gay ; 

The birds rejoice in leafy bowers, 

The bees hum round the breathing flowers 

Blithe Morning lifts his rosy eye, 

And Evening's tears are tears of joy: 

My soul, delightlcss, a' surveys. 

While Willie's far frae Lo^an braes. 


3 Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush, 
Amaug her nestlings sits the thrush; 
Her faithfu' mate will share her toil. 
Or wi' his soiig her cares beguile : 

SONG. 255 

But I wi' my SAveet nursliDgs here, 
Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer. 
Pass widow'd nights, and joyless days, 
AVhiie Willie's far frae Logan braes. 

4 wae upon you, men o' state, 
That brethren rouse to deadly hate! 
As ye make mony a fond heart mourn, 
Sae may it on your heads return ! 
How can your flinty hearts enjoy 
The widow's tears, the orphan's cry'? 
But soon may peace bring happy days, 
And Willie hame to Logan braes! 

Am — ' Hiighie Graham.^ 

1 Oh, gin my love were yon red rose. 

That grows upon the castle wa', 
And I mysel' a drap o' dew, 
Into her bonnie breast to fa'! 

2 Oh, there beyond expression blest, 

I'd feast on beauty a' the night: 
SeaFd on her silk-saft faulds to rest, 
Till fiey'd awa' by Phoebus' light. 

3 Oh, were my love yon lilac fjiir, 

Wi' purple blossoms to the spring; 
And I, a bird to shelter there. 
When wearied on my little wing ! 

256 burns' poems. 

4 How I wad mourn, Avlien it was torn 
By autnmn wild, and winter rndc ! 
But I wad sing on wanton wing, 

When jouthfu' May its bloom renew'd.^ 


1 There was a lass, and she was fair. 

At kirk and market to be seen ; 
When a' the fairest maids were met, 
The fairest maid was bonnie Jean. 

2 And aye she wrought her mammie's wark, 

And aye she sang sae merrilie : 
The blitliest bird upon the bush 
Had ne'er a lighter heart than she. 

3 But hawks will rob the tender joys 

That bless the little liutwhite's nest ; 
And frost will blight the fairest flowers, 
And love will break the soundest rest. 

4 Young Robie was the braAvest lad. 

The flower and pride of a' the glen ; 
And he had owsen, sheep, and kye, 
And wanton naigies nine or ten. 

5 He gaed wi' Jeanie to the tryste, 

He danced wi' Jeanie on the down ; 
And lang ere witless Jeanie wist, 

Her heart was tint, her peace was stown. 

' The two last stanzas of this song only are Burns'. 


6 As in the bosom o' the stream, 

The moonbeam dwells at dewy e'en, 
So, trembling, pure, was tender love 
Within the breast o' bonnie Jean. 

7 And now she works her mammie's wark, 

And aye she sighs wi' care and pain ; 
Yet wist na what her ail might be, 
Or what wad mak her weel again. 

8 But did na Jeanie's heart loup light, 

And did na joy blink in her e'e. 
As Robie tauld a tale o' love 
Ae e'enin' on the lily lea 1 

9 The sun was sinking in the west. 

The birds sang sweet in ilka grove ; 
His cheek to hers he fondly press'd. 
And whisper'd thus his tale o' love : 

1 ' Jeanie fair, I lo'e thee dear ; 

Oh canst thou think to fancy me 1 
Or wilt thou leave thy mammie's cot, 
And learn to tent the farms wi' me ? 

11 'At barn or byre thou shalt na drudge, 

Or naething else to trouble thee ; 
But stray amang the heather-bells, 
And tent the waving corn wi' me.' 

12 Now what could artless Jeanie do ? 

She had nae will to say him na: 
At length she blush'd a sweet consent, 
And love was aye between them twa. 



Tune — 'Robin Adair.' 

While larks with little wing, 

Fann'd the pure air, 
Tasting the breathing spring, 

Forth I did fare 
Gay the sun's golden eye, 
Peep'd o'er the mountains high ; 
Such thy morn ! did I cry, 

Phillis the fair. 

In each bird's careless song. 

Glad did I share ; 
While yon wild flowers among, 

Chance led me there : 
Sweet to the opening day, 
Rosebuds bent the dewy spray; 
Such thy bloom ! did I say, 

Phillis the fair. 

Down in a shady walk, 

Doves cooing were ; 
I mark'd the cruel hawk 

Caught in a snare , 
So kind may fortune be. 
Such make his destiny, 
He who would injure thee, 

Phillis the fair ! 

SONG. 259 


1 Had 1 a cave on some wild, distant sliore, 
AVliere the -winds howl to the waves' dashing roar ; 

There would I weep mj woes, 
There seek mj lost repose, 
Till grief my eyes should close, 
Ne'er to wake more ! 

2 Falsest of w^omankind ! canst thou declare, 
All thy fond-plighted vows — fleeting as air 1 

To thy new lover hie, 
Laugh o'er thy perjury, 
Then in thy bosom try 
What peace is there ! 

Tune — 'Allan Water: 

1 By Allan-stream I chanced to rove, 

While Phoebus sank beyond Benledi ; ^ 
The winds were whispering through the grove, 

The yellow corn was waving ready : 
I listen'd to a lover's sang, 

And thought on youthfu' pleasures many ; 
x\nd aye the wild-wood echoes rang — 

Oh dearly do I love thee, Annie ! 

2 Oh happy be the woodbine bower, 

Nae nightly bogle make it eerie ; 
Nor ever sorrow stain the hour, 

The place and time I met my dearie ! 

' ' Benledi : ' a mountain west of Strath-Allan, 3009 feet high.— />'. 


Her head upon my throbbing breast, 
She, sinking, said, ' I 'm thine for ever ! ' 

While mony a kiss the seal impress'd. 
The sacred voWj we ne'er should sover, 

3 The haunt o' spring 's the primrose brae, 

The simmer joys the flocks to follow ; 
How cheerie through her shortening day 

Is autumn in her weeds o' yellow ! 
But can they melt the glowing heart. 

Or chain the soul in speechless pleasure, 
Or through each nerve the rapture dart, 

Like meeting her, our bosom's treasure ? 

Tune — ' Whistle, and 1 11 come to you, my lad! 

1 Oh whistle, and I '11 come to you, my lad. 
Oh whistle, and I '11 come to you, my lad, 
Though father and mither and a' should gae mad, 
Oh whistle, and 1 11 come to you, my lad. 

2 But warily tent, when you come to court me, 
And come na unless the back-yett be ajee ; 
Syne up the back-stile, and let naebody see, 
And come as ye were na comin' to me. 

3 At kirk, or at market, whene'er ye meet me. 
Gang by me as though that ye cared na a flie ; 
But steal me a blink o' your bonnie black e'e, 
Yet look as ye were na lookin' at me. 


4 Aje VOW and protest tliat ye care na for me, 
And whyles ye may ligbtly my beauty a wee ; 
But court nae auitlier, though jokin' ye be, 
For fear that she wyle your fancy frae me. 

Tune — ' The Muckin' d Geordie's Byre' 

1 Adown winding Nith I did wander. 

To mark the sweet flowers as they spring; 
Adown winding Nith I did wander, 
Of Phillis to muse and to sing. 


Awa' wi' your belles and your beauties, 
They never wi' her can compare : 

Whaever has met wi' my Phillis, 
Has met wi' the queen o' the fair. 

2 The daisy amused my fond fancy, 

So artless, so simple, so wild ; 
Thou emblem, said I, o' my Phillis ! 
For she is simplicity's child. 

3 The rose-bud 's the blush o' my charmer, 

Her sweet balmy lip when 'tis press'd : 
How fair and how pure is the lily. 
But fairer and purer her breast. 

4 Yon knot of gay flowers in the arbour. 

They ne'er wi' my Phillis can vie : 
Her breath is the breath o' the woodbine, 
Its dew-drop o' diamond, her eye. 

262 burns' poems. 

5 Her voice is the song of the morning, 

That wakes through the green-spreading grove, 
When Ph(cbus peeps over the mountains, 
Ou music, and pleasure, and love. 

6 But beauty how frail and how fleeting — 

The bloom of a fine summer's day ! 
While worth in the mind o' my Phillis 
Will flourish without a decay. 

Air — ' Gauld KaiV 

1 Come, let me take thee to my breast, 

And pledge we ne'er shall sunder ; 
And I shall spurn as vilest dust 

The warld's wealth and grandeur : 
And do I hear my Jeanie own 

That equal transports move her? 
I ask for dearest life alone 

That I may live to love her. 

2 Thus in my arras, wi' a' thy charms, 

I clasp my countless treasure ; 
I '11 seek nae mair o' heaven to share, 

Than sic a moment's pleasure : 
And by thy e'en, sae bounie blue, 

I swear I'm thine for ever! 
And on thy lips I seal my vow, 

And break it shall I never ! 



Tune — 'Dairdij Davie.' 

1 Now rosy May comes in wi' flowers, 

To deck her gay, green spreading bowers ; 
And now come in my happy hours. 
To wander wi' my Davie. 


Meet me on the warlock knowe. 
Dainty Davie, dainty Davie, 

There 1 11 spend the day wi' you, 
My ain dear dainty Davie. 

2 The crystal waters round us fa', 
The merry birds are lovers a', 
The scented breezes round us blaw, 

A-wandering wi' my Davie. 

3 When purple morning starts the hare, 
To steal upon her early fare, 

Then through the dews I will repair, 
To meet my faithfu' Davie. 

4 When day, expiring in the west, 
The curtain draws o' Nature's rest, 

• I flee to his arms I lo'e best. 

And that 's my ain dear Davie. 

' ' Daintie Davie : ' is the title of an old Scotch song, from which Burns has 
taken nothing but the title and the measure. 

264 burns' poems. 



1 Scots, wha liae wi' Wallace bled, 
Scots, wham Bruce has aftcn led ; 
Welcome to your gory bed, 

Or to rictory ! 

2 Now 's the day and now 's the hour : 
See the front o' battle lower: 

See approach proud Edward's power — 
Chains and slavery ! 

3 Wha will be a traitor-knave ? 
Wha can fill a coward's grave "? 
Wha sae base as be a slave 1 

Let him turn and flee ! 

4 Wha for Scotland's king and law 
Freedom's sword will strongly draw, 

« Freeman stand, or freeman fa', 

Let him follow me ! 

5 By oppression's woes and pains I 
By your sons in servile chains ! 
We will drain our dearest veins 

But they shall be free ! • 

6 Lay the proud usurpers low ! 
Tyrants fall in every foe ! 
Liberty 's in every blow ! — 

Let us DO or die ! 

SONG 265 


Tune — ' Oran-gaoiV 

1 Behold the hour, the boat arrive ; 

Thou go'st, thou darling of my heart ! 
Sever'd from thee can I survive 1 

But fate has will'd, and we must part. 
I '11 often greet this surging swell. 

Yon distant isle will often hail : 
* E'en here I took the last farewell ; 

There latest mark'd her vauish'd sail' 

2 Along the solitary shore, 

While flitting sea-fowl round me cry, 
Across the rolling, dashing roar, 

1 11 westward turn my wistful eye : 
Happy, thou Indian grove, I '11 say. 

Where now my Nancy's path may be ! 
While through thy sweets she loves to stray, 

Oh tell me, does she muse on me ? 

Tune—' Fee him, father' 

1 Thou hast left me ever, Jamie ! 
Thou hast left me ever ; 
Thou hast left me ever, Jamie ! 
Thou hast left me ever. 

' Note. — A song referring to Clarindii's departure to the West Indies. 

266 burns' poems. 

Aftcn hast thou vow'd that death 
Only should us sever ; 

Now thou 'st left thy lass for aye — 
I maun see thee never, Jamie, 
I '11 see thee never ! 

2 Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie ! 

Thou hast me forsaken ; 
Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie ! 

Thou hast me forsaken. 
Thou canst love anither jo, 

While my heart is breaking : 
Soon my weary e'en I '11 close — 

Never mair to waken, Jamie, 

Ne'er mair to waken. 


1 Should auld acquaintance be forgot. 

And never brought to min' ? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot. 
And days o' lang syne 1 


For auld lang syne, my dear, 
For auld lang syne ; 

We '11 tak a cup o' kindness yet, 
For auld lang syne. 

2 We twa hae run about the braes, 

And pu'd the gowans fine ; 
But we've wander'd mony a weary foot. 
Sin' auld lang syne. 


3 We twa hae paicll't i' the burn, 

Frae mornin' sun till dine; 
But seas between us braid hae roar'd. 
Sin' auld lang sjne. 

4 And here 's a hand my trusty fiere, 

And gie 's a baud o' thine ; 
And we'll tak a right gtiid willie-waught, 
For auld lang syne. 

5 And surely ye '11 be your pint-stoup, 
And surely I '11 be mine ; 
And we '11 tak a cup o' kindness yet 
For auld lang syne. 


Tune — ' Saw ye my father f ' 

1 Where are the joys I have met in the morning, 

That danced to the lark's early song % 
Where is the peace that awaited my wandering, 
At evening the wild woods among'? 

2 No more a-winding the course of yon river, 

And marking sweet flow 'rets so fair : 
No more I trace the light footsteps of pleasure, 
But sorrow and sad sighing care. 

3 Is it that summer's forsaken our valleys, 

And gi'ini surly winter is near % 
No, no ! the bees humming round the gay roses, 
Proclaim it the pride of the year. 


4 Faiu would I hide what I fear to discover, 

Yet long, long too well have 1 known. 
All that has caused this wreck in iny bosom. 
Is Jenny, fair Jenny alone. 

5 Time cannot aid me, my griefs are immortal, 

Not hope dare a comfort bestow : 
Come tlien, enamour'd and fond of my anguish, 
Enjoyment 1 11 seek in my woe. 

Tune — ' The collier's honnie lassie.' 

1 Deluded swain, the pleasure 

The fickle fair can give thee, 
Is but a fairy treasure — 

Thy hopes will soon deceive thee. 

2 The billows on the ocean, 

The breezes idly roaming. 
The clouds' uncertain motion — 
They are but types of woman. 

3 Oh ! art thou not ashamed. 

To doat upon a feature ? 
If man thou would'st be named, 
Despise the silly creature. 

4 Go, find an honest fellow ; 

Good claret set before thee : 
Hold on till thou art mellow, 
And then to bed in glory. 



Tune—' Quaker's Wife: 

1 Thine am I, my faithful fair, 

Thine, mj lovely Nancy ; 
Every pulse along my veins, 
Every roving fancy. 

2 To thy bosom lay my heart, 

There to throb and languish : 
Though despair had wrung its core, 
That would heal its anguish. 

3 Take away these rosy lips. 

Rich with balmy treasure : 
Turn away thine eyes of love, 
Lest I die with pleasure. 

4 What is life when wanting love ? 
Night without a morning : 
Love 's the cloudless summer sun, 
Natiu-e gay adorning. 


Tune — ' My jo, Janet: 

1 ' Husband, husband, cease your strife. 
Nor longer idly rave, sir ; 
Though I am your wedded wife, 
Yet I am not your slave, sir.' 

270 burns' poems. 

2 ' One of two must still obey, 

Nancy, Nancy; 
Is it man, or Avoman, say, 
My spouse, Nancy?' 

3 ' If 'tis still the lordly word, 

Service and obedience ; 
I '11 desert my sovereign lord. 
And so goocl-by allegiance ! ' 

4 ' Sad will I be, so bereft, 

Nancy, Nancy ; 
Yet I '11 try to make a shift, 
My spouse, Nancy.' 

5 ' My poor heart then break it must, 

My last hour I 'm near it : 
When you lay me in the dust, 

Think, think how you will bear it.' 

6 ' I will hope, and trust in Heaven, 

Nancy, Nancy ; 
Strength to bear it will be given. 
My spouse, Nancy.' 

7 ' Well, sir, from the silent dead, 

Still I '11 try to daunt you ; 
Ever round your midnight bed 
Horrid sprites shall haunt you.' 

8 ' I '11 wed another, like my dear 

Nancy, Nancy; 
Then all hell will fly for fear. 
My spouse, Nancy.' 



Air — ' The Sutor's DochterJ 

1 Wilt thou be my dearie ? 

When sorrow -wrings thj gentle heart. 
Wilt thou let me cheer thee 1 
By the treasure of my soul, 
That 's the love I bear thee ! 
I swear and vow that only thou 
Shall ever be my dearie. 
Only thou, I swear and vow, 
Shall ever be my dearie. 

2 Lassie, say thou lo'es me ; 

Or if thou wilt na be my ain, 
Say na thou 'It refuse me : 
If it winna, canna be, 
Thou for thine may choose me. 
Let me, lassie, quickly die. 
Trusting that thou lo'es me. 
Lassie, let me quickly die, 
Trusting that thou lo'es me. 

Ttjne — ' The Banks of Cree! 

Here is the glen, and here the bower, 
All underneath tlie birchen shade ; 

The village-bell has told the hour, 
Oh, what can stay my lovely maidi 

272 burns' poems. 

2 'Tis not Maria's whispering call; 

'Tis but the balmy-breathing gale, 
Mix'd with some warbler's dying fall, 
The dewy star of eve to hail. 

3 It is Maria's voice I hear! — 

So calls the woodlark in tlie grove. 
His little faithful mate to cheer, 
At once 'tis music — and 'tis love. 

4 And art thou come! — and art thou true! 

welcome dear to love and me! 
And let us all our vows renew, 
Along the flowery banks of Cree. 




1 Here, where the Scottish Muse immortal lives, 

In sacred strains and tuneful numbers join'd, 
Accept the gift, though humble he who gives; 
Rich is the tribute of the grateful mind. 

2 So may no ruffian-feeling iu thy breast. 

Discordant jar thy bosom-chords among; 
But Peace attune thy gentle soul to rest. 
Or Love ecstatic wake his seraph song: 

3 Or Pity's notes, in luxury of tears, 

As modest AVant the tale of woe reveals , 
While conscious Virtue all the strain endears, 
And heaven-born Piety her sanction seals. 


Tune—' O'er ihe kills; &c. 

1 How can my poor heart be glad, 
When absent from ray sailor lad? 
How can I the thought forego. 
He's on the seas to meet the foe? 
Let me wander, let me rove, 
Still my heart is with my love ; 
Nightly dreams, and thoughts by day, 
Are with him that 's far away 


On the seas and far away. 
On stormy seas and far away; 
Nightly dreams, and thoughts by day, 
Are aye with him that 's far away. 

2 When in summer's noon I faint, 
As weary flocks around me pant, 
Haply in this scorching sun 

My sailor's thund'ring at his gim : 
Bullets, spare my only joy! 
Bullets, spare my darling boy! 
Fate, do with me what you may, 
Spare but him that 's far away ! 

3 At the starless midnight hour, 

When winter rules with boundless power ; 
As the storms the forest tear, 
And thunders rend the howling air. 

274 burns' poems. 

Listening to the doubling roar, 
Surging on the rocky shore, 
All I can — I weep and pray, 
For his weal that 's far away. 

4 Peace, thy olive wand extend. 
And bid wild War his ravage end, 
Man with brother man to meet. 
And as a brother kindly greet ; 
Then may Heaven with prosperous gales, 
Fill my sailor's welcome sails, 
To my arms their charge convey — 
My dear lad that 's far away. 



Ca' the yowes to the knowes, 
Ca' them whare the heather grows, 
Ca' them whare the burnie rowes. 
My bonnie dearie. 

1 Hark the mavis' evening sang 
Sounding Cluden's^ woods araang ; 
Then a-faulding let us gang. 

My bonnie dearie. 

2 "We '11 gae down by Cluden side. 
Through the hazels spreading wide, 
O'er the waves that sweetly glide 

To the moon sae clearly. 

' ' Cluden :' the river Cluden, a tributary stream to the Nith. 


3 Yonder Cluden's silent towers,^ 
Where at moonshine midnight hours, 
O'er the dewy bending flowers, 

Fairies dance sae cheerie. 

4 Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fear ; 
Thou 'rt to Love and Heaven sae dear, 
Nocht of ill may come thee near. 

My bonnie dearie. 

5 Fair and lovely as thou art, 
Thou hast stown my very heart , 
I can die — but canna part, 

My bonnie dearie. 

6 While waters wimple to the sea , 
While day blinks in the left sae hie : 
Till clay-cauld death shall blin' my e'e, 

Ye shall be my dearie. 


Tune — ' Onagh's Waterfalt. 

1 Sae flaxen were her ringlets, 

Her eyebrows of a darker hue, 
Bewitchingly o'erarching 

Twa laughing e'en o' bonnie blue. 
Her smiling sae wiling, 

Wad make a wretch forget his woe , 
What pleasure, what treasure, 

Unto these rosy lips to grow : 

' ' Cluden's silent towers : ' Lincluden Abbe}'. 

27 G burns' poems. 

Such was my Cliloris' boniiie face. 
When first her boniiie face I saw, 

And aye my Cliloris' dearest charm, 
She says she lo'es me best of a'. 

2 Like harmony her motion ; 

ITer pretty ancle is a spy, 
Betraying fair proportion, 

Wad make a saint forget the sky. 
Sae warming, sae charming, 

Her faultless form, and gracefu' air ; 
Ilk feature — auld Nature 

Declared that she could do nae mair : 
Her's are the willing chains o' love. 

By conquering beauty's sovereign law ; 
And aye my Chloris' dearest charm, 

She says she lo'es me best of a'. 

3 Let other's love the city, 

And gaudy show at sunny noon ; 
Gie me the lonely valley, 

The dewy eve, and rising moon 
Fair beaming, and streaming, 

Her silver light the boughs amang ; 
While falling, recalling. 

The amorous thrush concludes his sang 
There, dearest Chloris, wilt thou rove 

By wimpling burn and leafy shaw, 
And hear my vows o' truth and love, 

And say thou lo'es me best of a'. 




Maxwell, if merit here you crave. 

That merit I deny : 
You save fair Jessy from the grave ! 

An angel could not die. 


(Quasi dicat Phillis.) 

Tune — ' When she cam ben she hohhit! 

1 Oh, saw ye my dear, ray Phely'? 
Oh, saw ye my dear, my Phely? 

She 's down i' the grove, she 's wi' a new love, 
She wiuna come hame to her Willie. 

2 What says she, my dearest, my Phely % 
What says she, my dearest, my Phely? 

She lets thee to wit that she has thee forgot. 
And for ever disowns thee, her Willie. 

3 Oh, had I ne'er seen thee, my Phely! 
Oh, had I ne'er seen thee, my Phely ! 

As light as the air, and fause as thou 's fair, 
Thou 's broken the heart o' thy Willie. 



Tune — ' Cauld hail in Aberdeen! 

1 IIow laiig and dreary is the niglit, 

When I am frae my dearie ! 
I restless He, frae e'en to morn, 
Though I were ne'er sae weary. 


For oh, her hinely nights are lang ; 

And oh, her dreams are eerie ; 
And oh, her widow'd heart is sair, 

That 's absent frae her dearie. 

2 When I think on the lightsome days 

I spent wi' thee^ my dearie ; 
And now what seas between us roar. 
How can I be but eerie ? 

3 How slow ye move, ye heavy hours ; 

The joyless day how dreary! 
It was nae sae ye glinted by, 
When I was wi' my dearie ! 


Tune — ' Duncan Gray' 

1 Let not woman e'er complain 
Of inconstancy in love ; 
Let not woman e'er complain 
Fickle man is apt to rove : 


Look abroad through Nature's range, 
Nature's mighty law is change ; 
Ladies, would it not be strange, 
Man should then a monster prove 1 

2 Mark the winds, and mark the skies ; 

Ocean's ebb, and ocean's flow : 
Sun and moon but set jto rise, 

Round and round the seasons go. 
Why then ask of silly man. 
To oppose great Nature's plan 1 
We '11 be constant while we can — 

You can be no more, you know. 



Tune — ' Deil tak the Wars' 

1 Sleep'st thou, or wak'st thou, fairest creature ? 

Rosy Morn now lifts his eye, 
Numbering ilka bud which Nature 

Waters wi' the tears o' joy : 

Now through the leafy woods, 

And by the reeking floods. 
Wild Nature's tenants freely, gladly stray ; 

The lint white in his bower 

Chants o'er the breathing flower ; 

The laverock to the sky 

Ascends wi' sangs o' joy, 
While the sun and thou arise to bless the day. 

280 burns' poems. 

2 Phoebus gilding the brow o' morning, 
Banishes ilk darksome shade, 

Nature gladdening and adorning ; 
Such to me my lovely maid. 
When absent frae my fair, 
The murky shades o' care 

With starless gloom o'ercast my sullen sky ; 
But when in beauty's light, 
She meets my ravish'd sight, 
When through my very heart 
Her beaming glories dart — 

'Tis then I wake to life, to light, and joy. 


Tune — ' Gil Morice' 

1 But lately seen in gladsome green, 

The woods rejoiced the day, 
Through gentle showers the laughing flowers 

In double pride were gay : 
But now our joys are fled. 

On winter blasts awa' ! 
Yet maiden May, in rich array, 

Again shall bring them a'. 

2 But my white pow, nae kindly thowe 

vShall melt the snaws of age ; 
My trunk of eild, but buss or bield, 

Sinks in Time's wintry rage. 
Oh, age has weary days. 

And nights o' sleepless pain 1 
Thou golden time o' youthfu prime. 

Why com'st thou not again 1 



Tune — ' My lodging is on the cold ground.' 

1 My Cliloris, mark bow green the groves, 

The primrose banks bow fair ; 
The balmy gales awake the flowers, 
And wave thy flaxen hair. 

2 The laverock shuns the palace gay, 

And o'er the cottage sings : 
For Nature smiles as sweet, I ween, 
To shepherds as to kings. 

3 Let minstrels sweep the skilfu' string 

In lordly lighted ha' : 
The shepherd stops bis simple reed, 
Blithe, in the birken shaw. 

4 The princely revel may survey 

Our rustic dance wi' scorn ; 
But are their hearts as light as ours 
Beneath the milk-white thorn 1 

5 The shepherd, in the flowery glen, 

In shepherd's phrase will woo : 
The courtier tells a finer tale. 
But is his heart as true 1 

6 These wild-wood flowers I 've pu'd, to deck 

That spotless breast o' tliinc : 
The courtier's gems may witness love — 
But 'tis na love like mine. 




Tune — ' Dainty Davie! 

1 It was the charming month of May, 
When all the flowers were fresh and gay, 
One morning, by the break of day, 

The youthful, charming Chloe ; 
From peaceful slumber she arose, 
Girt on her mantle and her hose, 
And o'er the flowery mead she goes, 

The youthful, charming Chloe. 


Lovely was she by the dawn. 
Youthful Chloe, charming Chloe, 

Tripping o'er the pearly lawn. 
The youthful, charming Chloe. 

2 The feather'd people, you might see 
Perch'd all around on every tree. 
In notes of sweetest melody. 

They hail the charming Chloe ; 
Till, painting gay the eastern skies, 
The glorious sun began to rise, 
Out-rivall'd by the radiant eyes 

Of youthful, charming Chloe. 


Tune — ' Rothiemmxhie' s Rant! 


Lassie wi' tlie lint-white locks, 

Bonnie lassie, artless lassie, 
Wilt thou wi' me tent the flocks, 

Wilt thou be my dearie 1 

1 Now Nature deeds the flowery lea. 
And a' is young and sweet like thee , 
Oh, wilt thou share its joys wi' me, 

And say thou 'It be my dearie ? 

2 And when the welcome simmer shower 
Has cheer'd ilk drooping little flower, 
We '11 to the breathing woodbine bower 

At sultry noon, my dearie ! 

3 When Cynthia lights, wi' silver ray, 
The weary shearer's hameward way ; 
Through yellow waving fields we '11 stray. 

And talk o' love, my dearie 0! 

4 And when the howling wintry blast 
Disturbs my lassie's midnight rest. 
Enclasped to my faithful breast, 

I '11 comfort thcc, my dearie ! 

284 burns' poems. 


Tune — 'Nancy's to the Greenwood,' c£'c. 

1 Farewell, tliou stream that wiuding flows 

Around Eliza's dwelling! 

Memory! spare the cruel throes 
Within my bosom swelling: 

Condemn'd to drag a hopeless cliaiu, 

And yet in secret languish, 
To feel a fire in every vein, 

Nor dare disclose my anguish. 

2 Love's veriest wretch, unseen, unknown, 

I fain my griefs would cover: 
The bursting sigh, the unweeting groan. 
Betray the hapless lover. 

1 know thou doom'st me to despair, 

Nor wilt, nor canst relieve me; 
But, oh! Eliza, hear one prayer, 
For pity's sake forgive me! 

3 The music of thy voice I heard, 

Nor wist while it enslaved me ; 
I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd, 

Till fears no more had saved me : 
The unwary sailor thus, aghast, 

The wheeling torrent viewing; 
'Mid circling horrors sinks at last 

In overwhelming ruin. 




Tune—' The Sows Tail.' 


1 Philly, happy be that day, 

When roYing tlirough the gather'd liaj, 
Mj yoiithfu' heart was stown away, 
And by thy charms, my Pliilly. 


2 Willy, aye I bless the grove 
Where first I own'd my maiden love, 
Whilst thou didst pledge the Powers above 

To be my ain dear Willy. 


3 As songsters of the early year 
Are ilka day mair sweet to hear. 
So ilka day to me mair dear 

And charming is my Philly. 


4 As on the brier the budding rose 
Still richer breathes and fairer blows, 
So in my tender bosom grows 

The love I bear my Willy. 


5 The milder sun and bluer sky, 
That crown my harvest cares wi' joy, 
Were ne'er sae welcome to my eye 

As is a sight o' l^liilly. 

286 . burns' poems. 


6 The little swallow's wanton wing, 
Though wafting o'er the flowery spring, 
Did ne'er to me sic tidings bring, 

As meeting o' ray Willy. 


7 The bee that through the sunny hour 
Sips nectar in the opening flower, 
Compared wi' my delight is poor, 

Upon the lips o' Philly. 


8 The woodbine in the dewy weet 
When evening shades in silence meet, 
Is nocht sae frasfrant or sae sweet 

As is a kiss o' Willy. 


9 Let fortune's wheel at random rin, 

And fools may tyne, and knaves may win ; 
My thoughts are a' bound up in ane. 
And that 's my ain dear Philly. 


10 AVhat's a' the joys that gowd can gie! 
I care nae wealth a single flie; 
The lad I love 's the lad for me. 
And that 's my ain dear Willy. 



Tune — ' Lumps o' Pudding.' 

1 Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair, 
AVhene'er I forgather wi sorrow and care, 

I gie them a skelp, as they 're creepin' alang, 

Wi' a cos: o' suid swats, and an auld Scottish sans;. 

2 I whiles claw the elbow o' troublesome thought ; 
But man is a sodger, and life is a faught : 

My mirth and guid-humour are coin in my pouch, 
And my freedom 's my lairdship nae monarch dare touch. 

3 A towmond o' trouble, should that be my fa', 
A night o' guid fellowship sowthers it a' : 
When at the blythe end o' our journey at last, 
Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past? 

4 Blind Chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her way ; 
Be 't to me, be 't frae me, e'en let the jade gae : 
Come ease, or come travail ; come pleasure, or pain. 
My warst word is — ' Welcome, and welcome again!' 


Tune— * iJo/s Wife.' 


Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy? 

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy? 
Well thou know'st my aching heart. 

And canst thou leave me thus for pity? 

288 BUENS' rOEMS. 

1 Is this tlij^ pliglitcd, fond regard, 

Thus cruelly to part, mj Katj? 
Is this thy faithful swain's reward — 
An aching, broken heart, my Katy ? 

2 Farewell! and ne'er such sorrows tear 

That fickle lieart of thine, my Katy ! 
Thou may'st find those will love thee dear 
But not a love like mine, my Katy. 


Tune — 'There'll never he iieacel &g. 

1 Now in her green mantle blithe Nature arrays, 
And listens the lambkins that bleat o'er the braes, 
While birds warble welcome in ilka green shaw; 
But to me it 's delightless — my Nannie's awa' ! 

2 The snaw-drap and primrose our woodlands adorn, 
And violets bathe in the weet o' the morn ; 

They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw. 
They mind me o' Nannie — and Nannie's awa'! 

Thou laverock that springs frae the dews of the lawn. 
The shepherd to warn o' the gray-breaking dawn, 
And thou mellow mavis, that hails the night fa', 
Give over for pity — my Nannie's awa'! 

4 Come, autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and gray, 
And soothe me wi' tidings o' Nature's decay : 
The dark, dreary w^inter, and wild-driving snaw% 
Alane can delight me — now Nannie's awa'! 

FOR a' that, and a' THAT. 289 


Tune — 'For «' that, an' a that! 

1 Is there, for honest poverty, 

That haugs his head, and a' that ! 
The coward slave, we pass him by, 

We dare be poor for a' that ! 
For a' that, and a' that, 

Our toils obscure, and a' that ; 
The rank is but the guinea's stamp, 

The man 's the gowd for a' that ! 

2 AVhat though on hamely fare we dine, 

Wear hoddiu gray, and a' that ; 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine, 

A man 's a man for a' that ! 
For a' that, and a' that, 

Their tinsel show, and a' that ; 
The honest man, though e'er sae poor. 

Is king o' men for a' that ! 

3 Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord, 

Wha struts, and stares, and a' that ; 
Though hundreds worship at his word, 

He's but a coof for a' that ; 
For a' that, and a' that. 

His riband, star, and a' that, 
Tlie man of independent mind. 

He looks and laughs at a' that. 

4 A prince can mak a belted knight, 

A marquis, duke, and a' that ; 
But an honest man 's aboon his might, 
Guid faith he maunna fa' that ! 


For a' that, and a' that, 
Their dignities, and a' that, 

The pith o' sense, and pride o' worth, 
Are higher rank than a' that. 

5 Then let us pray that come it may — 

As come it will for a' that — 
That sense and worth, o'er a' the earth, 

May bear the gree, and a' that. 
For a' that, and a' that. 

It 's coming yet, for a' that, 
That man to man, the warld o'er, 

Shall brothers be for a' that ! 


Tune — ' Craigie-hmi Wood.' 

1 Sweet fa's the eve on Craigie-burn, 

And blithe awakes the morrow ; 
But a' the pride o' spring's return 
Can yield me nocht but sorrow. 

2 I see the flowers and spreading trees, 

I hear the wild birds singing ; 

But what a weary wight can please, 

And care his bosom wringing 1 

3 Fain, fain would I my griefs impart, 

Yet dare na for your anger ; 
But secret love will break my heart. 
If I conceal it langer. 

' ' Craigie-bui'ii wood : ' is situated on the banks of tbe river Moffat. It 
was there the Poet met the ' Lassie wi' the h'nt-white locks,' Mrs Whelpdale, 
and that he conceived several of his beautiful lyrics. 


4 If thou refuse to pity me, 
If thou shalt love anither, 
When yon green leaves fade frae the tree, 
Around my grave they '11 wither. 


Tune — ' Let me in this ae night,' 

1 Lassie, art thou sleeping yet 1 
Or art thou wakin' I would wit ? 

For love has bound me hand and foot, 
And I would fain be in, jo. 


Oh let me in this ae night, 

This ae, ae, ae night ; 
For pity's sake this ae night, 

Oh rise and let me in, jo. 

2 Thou hear'st the winter wind and weet, 
Nae star blinks through the driving sleet ; 
Tak pity on my weary feet, 

And shield me frae the rain, jo. 

3 The bitter blast that round me blaws 
Unheeded howls, unheeded fa's ; 

The cauldness o' thy heart 's the cause 
Of a' my grief and pain, jo. 


1 Oh tell na me o' wind and rain, 
Upbraid na me wi' cauld disdain ; 

292 burns' poems. 

Gae back tlie gait ye cam again, — 
I winiia let you in, jo ! 


I tell ye now this ae night, 

This ac, ae, ae night, 
And ance for a' this ae night, 

I winna let you in, jo ! 

2 The snellest blast, at mirkest hours, 
That round the pathless wanderer pours. 
Is nocht to what poor she endures, 

That's trusted faithless man, jo ! 

3 The sweetest flower that deck'd the mead. 
Now trodden like the vilest weed ; 

Let simple maid the lesson read, 
The weird may be her ain, jo ! 

4 The bird that charm'd his summer -day, 
Is now the cruel fowler's prey ; 

Let witless, trusting woman say. 
How aft her fate 's the same, jo ! 


^fuNE — ' Where 'U honnie Ann lief or — ' Loch-Eroch 


1 Oh stay, sweet warbling wood-lark, stay ! 
Nor quit for me the trembling spriiy ; 
A hapless lover courts thy lay, 
Thy soothing, fond complaining. 


2 Again, again that tender part, 
That I may catch thy melting art ; 
For surely that wad touch her heart, 
Wha' kills me wi' disdaining. 

8 Say, was thy little mate unkind. 
And heard thee as the careless wind ? 
Oh ! nocht but love and sorrow join'd, 
Sic notes o' woe could wauken. 

4 Thou tells o' never-ending care ; 
0' speechless grief, and dark despair; 
For pity's sake, sweet bird, nae mair. 
Or my poor heart is broken ! 

Tune — 'Ai/e tualdn' 0!' 

1 Can I cease to care. 

Can I cease to languish. 
While my darling fair 

Is on the couch of anguish ? 


Long, long the night, 

Heavy comes the morrow, 

While my soul's delight. 
Is on her bed of sorrow. 

2 Every hope is fled, 

Every fear is terror ; 
Slumber even I dread; 
Every dream is horror. 


S Hear mc, Powers divine ! 
Oh, in pitj hear mc ! 
Take aught else of mine, 
But mj Chloris spare me ^ 


Tune — 'Humours of Ghn! 

1 Their groves o' sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon, 

Where bright-beaming summers exalt the perfume; 
Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' green breckan, 
Wi' the burn stealing under the laug yellow broom. 

2 Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers, 

Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly unseen ; 
For there, lightly tripping amang the wild flowers, 
A-listening the linnet, aft wanders my Jean. 

3 Though rich is the breeze in their gay sunny valleys, 

And cauld Caledonia's blast on the wave ; 
Their sweet-scented woodlands that skirt the proud 
What are they % — the haunt of the tyrant and slave ! 

4 The slave's spicy forests, and gold-bubbling fountains, 

The brave Caledonian views wi' disdain ; 
He wanders as free as the winds of his mountains. 
Save love's willing fetters — the chains o' his Jean ! 



Tune — 'Laddie, lie near me! 

1 'TwAS na her boiiuie blue e'e was my ruin ; 
Fair though she be, that was ne'er my undoing: 
'Twas the dear smile when naebody did mind us, 
'Twas the bewitching, sweet, stown glance o' kindness. 

2 Sair do I fear that to hope is denied me, 
Sair do I fear that despair maun abide me ; 
But though fell fortune should fate us to sever, 
Queen shall she be in my bosom for ever ! 

3 Mary, I 'm thine wi' a passion sincerest, 

And thou hast plighted me love o' the dearest ! 
And thou 'rt the angel that never can alter, 
Sooner the sun in his motion would falter. 



Tune — 'John Anderson, my jo.' 

1 How cruel are the parents 

Who riches only prize; 
And to the wealthy booby, 

Poor woman sacrifice! 
Meanwhile the hapless daughter 

Has but a choice of strife ; — 
To shun a tyrant father's hate, 

Become a wretched wife. 

296 burns' poems. 

2 The ravening haAvk pursuing, 

The trembling dove thus flies, 
To shun impelling ruin 

A\vhile her pinions tries; 
Till of escape despairing. 

No shelter or retreat, 
She trusts the ruthless falconer, 

And drops beneath his feet. 


Tune — * Deil tah tlie Wars' 

Mark yonder pomp of costly fashion, 

Round the wealthy, titled bride : 
But when compared with real passion, 

Poor is all that princely pride ! 

What are the showy treasures ? 

What are the noisy pleasures % 
The gay, gaudy glare of vanity and art : 

The polish'd jewel's blaze 

May draw the wondering gaze, 

And courtly grandeur bright 

The fancy may delight. 
But never, never can come near the heart. 

But did you see my dearest Chloris, 

In Simplicity's array ; 
Lovely as yonder sweet opening flower is. 

Shrinking from the gaze of day. 

Oh then, the heart alarming. 

And all resistless charming, 


lu Love's delightful fetters she chains the willing 
soul ! 

Ambition would disown 

The world's imperial crown, 

Even Avarice would deny 

His worshipp'd Deity, 
And feel through every vein Love's raptures roll. 

Tune — ' Tins is no my ain House/ 


Oh this is no my ain lassie, 
Fair though the lassie be ; 

Oh weel ken I my ain lassie, 
Kind love is in her e'e ! 

1 I see a form, I see a face, 

Ye weel may wi' the fairest place: 
It wants, to me, the witching grace, 
The kind love that's in her e'e. 

2 She 's bonnie, blooming, straight, and tall. 
And lang has had my heart in thrall ; 
And aye it charms my very saul, 

The kind love that 's in her e'e. 

3 A thief sae pawkie is my Jean, 
To steal a bHnk, by a' unseen ; 
But gleg as light are lovers' e'en, 

When kind love is in the e'e. 

298 burns' roEMS. 

4 It may escape the courtly sparks, 
It may escape the learned clerks ; 
But weel the Avatcliing lover marks 
The kmd love that's in her e'e. 




A\ aU. 

Aback, away, aloof. 

AbeigJi, at a shy distance, aloof. 

Aboon, above. 

Abread, abroad. 

Abrecd, in breadth. 

Adle, putrid water. 

Ae, one. 

Af, off ; aff loof, off hand. 

Afore, before. 

Aft, oft. 

Aftcn, often. 

Aghy, off' the right line, wrong. 

A iblins, perhaps. 

Aik, an oak. 

Ain, own. 

Aides, earnest. 

Airl-penny, a penny given as 

earnest, or hiring money. 
Aim, iron ; an iron tool. 
Airt, to direct. 
Airts, directions, points of the 

Aith, an oath. 
Aits, oats. 

Aiver, a work-horse. 
Aizle, a hot cinder. 
Ajee, awry, ajar. 
Alaice, alas ! 
Alane, alone. 
Akwart, awkward. 
Amaist, almost. 
Amang, among, 
An\ and, if. 
Ance, once. 
Arie, one. 

Anent, about, concerning. 
Anither, another. 
Ase, ashes. 
AsMent, aslant, asquint. 

A steer, astir. 

Athart, or athort, athwart. 

Aught, possession ; as, in a' my 

aught, in all my possession. 
Auld, old. 

Anldf arrant, knowing, sagacious. 
Auld-lang-syne, long ago, the days 

of other years. 
Auld-shoon, old shoes ; term for a 

discarded lover. 
Auld-ivarld, old-fashioned. 
Aunious, or aicmous, alms. 
Aumous-dish, a beggar's dish, a 

vessel for collecting money for 

the poor at church. 
Amnry, a cupboard for keeping 

victuals, dishes, &c. 
Ava, at all. 
Av)a\ away. 
Awfu, awful. 
Awn, the beard of barley or other 

Awiiie, bearded. 
Ayont, beyond. 


Bd', a ball. 

Backet, or baikey, a wooden coal 

scuttle ; saut-hachct, salt-box. 
Bakes, biscuits. 
Backlins, back, backwards. 
Bad, did, bid. 
Baggie, the belly. 
Baide, remained, endured, resided. 
Bainie, large-boned. 
Bairn, a child. 
Bairntime, a family of children, a 

Baith, both. 
Ban, to swear or curse. 



Bane, bone. 

Bang, to beat, to excel. 

Bang, a blow, also a great number. 

Bannocks, round flat cakes. 

Baps, rolls of bread. 

Bardie, diminutive of bard. 

Barefit, barefooted. 

Barley-brec, malt liquor. 

Barmie, of or like barm, yeasty. 

Batch, a crew or gang. 

Batts, botts, colic. 

Bauckie-bird, the bat, 

Baudrons, a cat. 

Banks, cross beams. 

Bavid, bold. 

Bawbee, a halfpenny ; baivbees, 

Bawk, a bank, a strip of un- 

ploughed land. 
Baws'nt, having a white spot on 

the forehead or face. 
Be (to let be), to give over. 
Beare, barley. 
Beast, vermin. 

Beastie, diminutive of beast. 
Beck, a curtsy. 
Bedesman, a poor pensioner, one 

■who prays for his patron. 
Beek, to bask. 
Beet, to add fuel to fire. 
Begoud, began. 
Begunk, trick, jilting. 
Beld, bald. 
Behjne, by and by. 
Ben, into the spence, or parlour. 
Benlomond, a noted mountain m 

Benmost bore, innermost hole. 
Bennison, blessing. 
Bent, a kind of grass ; ' ta'en the 

bent^ taken the moor, run away. 
Bethankit, grace after meat. 
Beuk, a book. 
Bicker, a wooden dish ; a short 

Bid, to propose, to offer ; bade nae 

better, desired no more. 
Bide, to stay or reside, to endure. 
Bield, or biel, shelter. 
Bien, comfortable, well-to-do. 
Big, to build. 
Biggin', a building. 
Biggit, built. 
Biggonet, a linen cap or coif. 

Bill, a bull. 

Billie, a brother, a young fellow. 

Bing, a heap of grain, potatoes, &c. 

Binna, be not. 

Birk, birch. 

Birkcn - schaw, plantation of 

Birkie, a forward, lively fellow. 
Birle, to drink ; ' birle the bawbee,^ 

to club for drink. 
Birring, the noise of partridges, 

&c, when they spring. 
Blrses, bristles. 
Bit, crisis, nick of time ; and also 

as adimirmtive, as 'a bitburn^ 

a small stream ; ' a bit lassie^ a 

little gu'l. 
Bittock, ahttle bit, a short distance. 
Bizz, a bustle ; to buzz. 
Bizzard, buzzard. 
Blae, pale blue, the colour of the 

skin when bruised. 
Blastie, a shrivelled dwarf, a term 

of contempt. 
Blastit, blasted. 
Blate, bashful, sheepish. 
Blather, bladder. 
Blaud, a flat piece of anything ; to 

slap ; a hearty blaud, a large 

Blaio, to blow, to boast ; * blaw i' 

my lug,^ to flatter. 
Bleerit, bleared, sore with rheum, 

or dim with weeping. 
Bleert an' blin', bleared and blind. 
Bleezing, blazing. 
Blellum, idle, talking fellow. 
Blether, to talk idly ; nonsense. 
Blethers, babbling, foolish talk. 
Blethrin\ babbling. 
Blink, an instant, a little while ; a 

smiling look ; to look kindly ; 

to shine by fits, twinkle. 
Blinker, a term of contempt. 
BlinkirC, smirking. 
Blue-gown, an order of paupera, 

who receive annually, on the 

Sovereign's birthday, a blue 

cloak or gown, with a pewter 

Bluid, blood. 
Bluntie, snivelling. 
Blutter, the mire-snipe. 
Blype, a shred, a piece rent off- 



Bock, to vomit, to gurgle. 

Booked, guslaed, vomited. 

Bodle, a small copper coin. 

Bogie, a small bog. 

Bogles, goblins. 

Bonnie, or bonny, handsome, 

Boord, a board. 

Boortree, or bu'tree, the shrub 
elder, formerly much planted in 
hedges of farm-yards, &c. 

Boost, behoved, must needs. 

Bore, a hole in the wall. 

Botch, an inflamed tumour. 

Bouk, bulk ; a corpse. 

Bousing, tijiphng. 

Bow -kail, cabbage. 

Bowt, bent, crooked. 

Brackens, or breckens, fern. 

B}-ae, the face of a hill. 

Braid, broad. 

Braik, a kind of harrow. 

Brainge, to dash forward, 

BraingH, rushed forward. 

Brak, broke, made insolvent. 

Brankie, gaudy, pranked out gaily. 

Branks, a halter with wooden 
cheek-jiieces for cows and horses. 

Brash, a smart fit of illness. 

Brats, rags, coarse clothes ; the 
term is also applied to chil- 

Brattle, a .short race, hurry, fury. 

Braw, fine, handsome, well-dressed. 

Brawlies, or braidie, bravely, 
heartily, very well. 

Braxie, a diseased sheep, or the 
mutton of a sheep which has 
been smothered in snow. 

Breastic, little breast. 

Breastit, sprang breast-high, 

Brecham, a horse-collar. 

Breckan, fern. 

Breef, an irresistible spell. 

Breeks, l;)reeches. 

Brent, smooth, clear ; bre7it new, 
quite new. 

Brewing brewing. 

Brie, juice, liquid. 

Brig, a bridge. 

Brisket, the breast, the bosom. 

Br it her, a brother. 

Brock, a badger. 

Brogue, a hum, a trick. 

Broo, broth, liquid, water. 

Broose, a race at country wedding.^, 
from the church to the bride- 
groom's house. 

Brose, hasty pudding, made by 
pouring boiling water or broth 
on oatmeal. The dish is named 
from the liquid used, as, vmter- 
brose, kail-brose. 

Browst, a brewing. 

Brugh, a burgh. 

Bruilzie, a broil, a strife. 

Brunstane, brimstone. 

Brunt, burned. 

Brust, to burst, burst. 

Buchan-bidlers, the boiling of the 
sea among the rocks on the coast 
of Buchan, Aberdeenshire. 

Buckskin, an inhabitant of Vir- 

Blight, a pen for sheep, 

Bughtin-tim^ the time for collect- 
ing the sheep into the pens to 
be milked. 

Buirdly, athletic, broad and larg? 
of make. 

Bum-clock, the humming beetle, 
which flies in the summer 

Bumming, humming, droning. 

Bummle, to blunder, to bungle. 

Bummler, bungler. 

Bunker, a vdndow-seat, or seat 
which also serves for a chest, 
opening with a hinged hd. 

Burdies, small birds. 

Bure, bore. 

Burn, a stream, a rivulet. 

Burnie, a small streamlet. 

Burnewin, %. e., burn-the-wind, a 

Buskie, bushy. 

Busk it, dressed. 

Busks, dresses. 

Bussle, a bustle, to bustle. 

Buss, shelter. 

But, or bot, without. 

But an' ben, the country kitchen 
and parlour. 

B>/ himself, lunatic, distracted. 

Bi/ke, a bee-hive, nest of the wild 
bee ; a swarm ; glourhi' byke, 
staring multitude. 

Byre, a cow-house, a sheep-pen. 




Ca', to call, to name ; to drive. 

CrtV, or ca'd, called ; driven ; calved. 

Cadger, a carrier, a liuxter. 

Cadie, or caddie, a poiter or mes- 

Caff, chaff. 

Caird, a tinker. 

Cairn, a heap of loose stones. 

Calf-ward, a small enclosure for 

Callan, a boy. 

Caller, or cauler, fresh, sound, re- 

Canie, or cannie, gentle, mild, 
knowing ; canniest gate, easiest 

Cannilie, gently, sagaciously. 

Cantrip, a charm, a speU. 

Canty, or cantie, cheerful, merry. 

Cap-stane, cope-stone, key-stone. 

Careerin', cheerfully. 

Carl, an old man. 

Carl-hemp, the male stalk of hemp, 
known by its superior strength 
and height. 

Carline, a stout old woman. 

Carritch, catechism ; single car- 
ritck, the Shorter Catechism. 

Cartes, cards. 

Caudron, a caldron. 

Cauk, chalk. 

Cauld, cold. 

Caup, a wooden bowl. 

Cavie, a hen-coop. 

Cesses, taxes. 

Chanter, j^art of a bagpipe. 

Chap, a person, a feUow ; a blow, 
a stroke. 

Cheekit, cheeked. 

Cheep, a cliirp, to chirp. 

Chiel, a young fellow. 

Chimla, or chimlie, a fire-place. 

Chimla-lug, fireside. 

Chittering, shivering with cold. 

ChokirC, choking. 

Chovj, to chew ; cheek-for-choio, 
side-by-side, cheek-by-jole. 

Chuckie, a brood hen. 

Chuffie, fat-faced. 

Clachan, a small village about a 
church, a hamlet. 

Claise, or claes, clothes. 

Claith, cloth. 

Claitlnng, clothing. 

Clap, the clapper of a milL 

Clarkit, wrote. 

CI aril/, dirty. 

Clash, an idle talc, gossip. 

Clatter, to tell idle stories ; an idle 

Claught, snatched at, laid hold of. 
Claut, to scrape, to clean ; claiot o' 

gear, heap of money. 
Clauted, scraped clean. 
Clavers, idle stories. 
Claw, to scratch. 
Cleckin, a brood, a Htter 
deed, to clothe. 
deeds, clothes. 
Cleekit, hooked, caught. 
Cleg, the gadfly. 
Chink, money. 
ClinkirC, jerking, clinking. 
dinkumhell, man who rings the 

Clips, shears. 
ClishmoAaver, gossip, idle chat, 

Clock, to hatch ; a beetle. 
Clockin\ hatching. 
Cloot, or cluit, the hoof of a cow, 

sheep, &c. 
Clootie, an old name for the Devil, 

in allusion to the cloven foot. 
Clonr, a bump or swelling after a 

Clout, to patch. 
Cluds, clouds. 
Clunk, the gurgling sound of liquor 

in emptying a cask or bottle. 
Coaxin', wheedling. 
Coble, a fishing-boat. 
Cockernonny, a lock of hair tied on 

a girl's head ; a cap. 
Coft, bought. 
Cog, a wooden dish. 
Coggie, a little cog. 
Coila, from Kyle, a district of 

Ayrshire ; so called, according 

to tradition, from Coil, or Coilus, 

a Pictish king. 
Collie, a cur-dug. 
Collieshangie, a quarrel, a noisy 

Command command. 
Cood, the cud. 



Coof, or cuif, a blockhead, a ninny. 
Cookit, appeared and disappeared 

by turns. 
Coost, cast. 
Coot, the ankle. 
Cootie, a wooden kitchen dish ; 

also, those fowls whose legs are 

clad with feathers are said to be 

Corbie, the raven, the carrion crow. 
Core, corps, party, clan. 
Corn't, fed with oats. 
Cottar, the inhabitant of a cot- 
house or cottage. 
Couthie, kind, loving. 
Cove, a cave. 
Cowe, to overbear, to keep under, 

to lop off ; a fright ; a bush of 

furze or broom. 
Cowp, to barter ; to tumble over ; 

a gang. 
Cowp it, bartered ; tumbled. 
Cow'rirC, cowering. 
Cowte, a colt. 
Cozie, snug, warm. 
Cozily, snugly. 
Crahbit, crabbed, peevish. 
Crack, conversation, to converse. 
Crackhi, conversing ; crackiri' 

crouse, talking briskly. 
Craft, or croft, a field near a house 

(in old husbandry). 
Craig, the neck or throat ; dimin. 

Craik, a bird, the rail or corn- 
Craiks, cries or calls incessantly. 
Crambo-clink, or crambo-jingle, 

doggrel rhymes. 
Crancreuch, hoarfrost. 
Crank, the noise of an ungreased 

Crankous, fretful, captious. 
Crap, a crop, to crop. 
Craio, the crow of a cock ; a crow 

or rook. 
Creel, a coarse basket ; to have one's 

wits in a creel, to be crazed, to 

be fascinated. 
Creeshie, greasy. 

Croo'd, or crou'd, to coo as a dove. 
Croon, a low, droning sound ; to 

make such a sound ; to hum a 


Crooning, droning, humming. 

Crouchie, crook-backed. 

Croidhi", crawling. 

Crouse, cheerful, courageous. 

Crousely, cheerfully, courageously. 

Crowdie, a stir-about of oatmeal 
and boihng water, or the broth 
of beef or mutton, &c. 

Crowdie-time, breakfast-time. 

Crummock, a cow with crooked 

Crump, brittle, friable, crisp ; 
spoken of bread or pie-crust, &c. 

Crunt, a blow on the head with a 

Cuddle, to caress. 

Cuif, a ninny. 

Cummock, a short staff, with a 
crooked head. 

Curchie, a curtsey. 

Curler, a player at the game of 

Curlie, curled, one whose hair 
naturally falls in ringlets. 

Curling, a well-known game in 
Scotland, played on the ice. 

Curmurring, murmuiTing, a slight 
rumbling noise. 

Curpin, the crupper. 

Cushat, the wood-pigeon. 

Cutty, short, a short spoon ; a loose 
girl ; cutty sark, short shift. 

Cutty-stool, the stool of repent- 
ance, which was used in former 
times in the churches in Scot- 


Daddie, a father. 

Dafjin\ fun, merriment, foolishness. 

Daft, meriy, giddy, foolish. 

Daidlin\ loitering, trifling, tip- 

Daimen, rare, now and then. 

Dcdmen-icker, an ear of corn now 
and then. 

Daintie, pleasant, good-humoured, 

Dales, valleys. 

Darklins, in the dark. 

Daud, to thrash, to abuse, to pelt. 

Daud (noun), a large piece ; noise 
of a heavy fall. 



Daudin\ beating. 

Dau)\ to dare. 

Daur't, dared. 

Daurg, daurk, or darg, a day's 

Davoc, David. 

Dawtit, or daivtct, fondled, ca- 

Bead, death. 

Dearies, diminutive of dears. 

Dearthfii', dear. 

Deave, to deafen. 

Dicl-ma-care, devil-may-care. 

Deleerit, delirious. 

Descrive, to describe. 

Devel, a severe blow. 

Dight, to wipe; to winnow corn. 

Difjlit, cleaned from chaff". 

Dig/its, cleans. 

Dike, stone fence. 

Din, dun, sallow. 

Ding, to worst, to push, to beat; 
winna ding, will not be beat. 

Dinna, do not. 

Dirl, a slight, tremulous stroke, or 


to vibrate. 

Dizzen, or di'in, a dozen. 
Doited, stupid, silly from age. 
Dolt, stupified, crazed. 
Donzie, or donsie, unlucky. 
Dool, soiTow; to sing dool, to 

Doos, doves. 

Dorty, saucy, pettish, nice, 
Douce, sober, wise, prudent ; 

doucer, more pi'udent. 
Doucely, soberly, prudently. 
Dought, was or were able. 
Doup, backside. 
Dotip-skelper, one that strikes the 

Dour, obstinate. 
Doure, stout, stubborn, sullen. 
Dow, am or are able, can. 
Doivff, pithless, wanting force. 
Dowie, worn with grief or fatigue; 

Downa, am or are not able, cannot. 
Doylt, stupid. 
DozenH, stupified. 
Drab, a slatternly young woman. 
Drants, long prayers. 
Drap, a drop, to drop. 
Drapping, dropping. 

Draunting, drawling. 

Dreep, to ooze, to drop. 

Dree, to suffer. 

Dreigh, tedious, long about it. 

Dribble, drizzling, slaver. 

Driddle, to scrape on a fiddle. 

Drift, a drove. 

Droddum, the breech. 

Drone, part of a bagpipe. 

Droop-rumpleH, that droops at the 

Droukit, drenched. 
Drouth, thirst, drought. 
Drucken, drunken. 
Drumly, muddy. 
Drummock, meal and water mixed, 

Drunt, pet, sour humour, sulks. 
Dub, a dirty pool. 
Duds, rags, tattered clothes. 
Duddie, ragged. 
Dung, worsted, pushed, driven. 
Dunt, a knock or stroke ; to beat, 

to throb. 
Dunted, beaten, boxed. 
Dusk, to push like a ram, to butt. 
Dush't, butted by a ram or ox, &c. 
Dwam, a qualm or swoon. 
Divining, pining away, decaying. 
Dyke, a stone-wall fence. 
Dyvour, a bankrupt, an ill-dressed, 

seedy, idle fellow. 

E'e, the eye. 

E'en, the eyes. 

E'enin\ evening. 

Eerie, lonely, frighted, dreading 

ghosts and spirits. 
Eild, old age. 
Elhuck, the elbow. 
Eldritch, dreary, ghastly, frightful, 

En\ end. 

Enbrugh, Edinburgh. 
Eneugh, enough. 
Eftpecial, especially. 
Ettle, to try, attempt, intend. 
Eydent, or eident, diligent. 


Fa\ fall, lot, fate, waterfall ; as a 
verb, it signifies to get or obtain. 



Fa'ard, favoured ; ill-fa'ard, ill- 
favoured, ugly. 

Faddorti't, fathomed, encompassed 
with the arms. 

Fae, a foe. 

Facm, foam. 

Faiket, unknown, unemployed, 
abated, folded. 

Fain, fond. 

Fairin\ a fairing, a present. 

Fallow, fellow. 

Fand, found. 

Farl, a crisp cake. 

Fash, trouble, care ; to trouble, to 
care for. 

Fashions, troublesome. 

Fasht, troubled. 

Fastern-e'en, Fastens-even. 

Fatfrds, ribbon ends. 

Faidd, a fold, to fold. 

Faulding, folding. 

Faur'd, favoured; ill-faur'd, ill- 

Faitse, false. 

Fause- house, opening in a corn- 
stack for ventilation. 

Faut, fault. 

Fo^wsont, decent, seemly. 

Feal, a field, grassy turf, smooth. 

FearfiC, frightful. 

Feaft, frighted. 

Feut, neat, spruce. 

Fecht, to fight. 

Fechtin'', fighting. 

Feck, many, plenty, the most. 

Fecket, waistcoat. 

Feckfu, large, brawny, stout. 

Feckless, puny, weak, silly. 

Feckly, mostly. 

Feg, a fig. 

Feid, feud. 

Fell, keen, biting ; the flesh imme- 
diately under the skin ; a level 
space on the side or top of a 

Fen\ successful struggle, fight. 

Fend, to beat off want, to live 
comfortably, to provide for ; to 
mak afen\ to make a shift. 

Ferlie, or ferley, to wonder, a 
wonder ; a term of contempt. 

Fetch, to pull by fits. 

FetchH, pulled intei-mittently. 
• Tu flicker in Jamieson is to coax, to flirt 

Fey, doomed, predestinated. 

Fidge, to fidget, to shrag. 

Fidgin^ fain, excitedly eager. 

Fiel, soft, smooth. 

Fient, fiend, a petty oath. 

Fient had, deuce a bit. 

Fiere, sound, healthy ; a brother, 
a friend. 

Fisle, to make a rustling noise, to 
fidget, to bustle. 

Fit, a foot. 

Fittie-lan\ the near horse of the 
hindmost pair in the plough. 

Fizz, to make a hissing noise like 
fermentation, or as when a hot 
iron is plunged into watei% 

Flafan, fluttering. 

Flainen, ov flannen, flaiuiel. 

Flaughterinq, light gleaming fit- 

Fleech, to cajole, to beseech flatter- 

FleecKd, wheedled. 

FlcechifC, wheedling. 

Fleesh, a fleece. 

Flcg, a kick, a random blovr, a 

Flether, to deny by fair words. 

Metherin\ flattering. 

Fley, to frighten, scare. 

Flichter, to flutter like nestlings 
when their dam apiwoaches. 

Flickering, meeting, encountering 

Flinders, shreds, splinters. 

Flingin-tree, a bale, or piece of 
timber hung horizontally be- 
tween two horses in a stable, by 
way of jmrtition ; a flail. 

Flisk, to fret at the yoke. 

Fliskit, fretted. 

Flitter, to vibrate like the wings 
of small birds. 

Flittering, fluttering, vibrating. 

Flunkie, a servant in livery. 

Flyte, to scold. 

Fodgd, plump. 

Foord, a ford. 

Forbears, forefathers. 

I^hrbye, besides. 

Fore, to the fore, still in existence. 

Forfmrn, distressed, worn out, 
jaded, enfeebled. 
; hut flickering is glossed as above in Blaikie. 




Forfoughten, fatigued, knocked up. 
Forgather, to meet, to encounter 

Forgie, to forgive. 
Forjesket, jaded with, fatigue. 
Foiher, fodder. 
Fou\ full, drunk. 
Foughten. troubled, harassed. 
Fouth, plenty, enough, or more 

than enough. 
Fow, a bushel; also a pitchfork. 
Frae, from. 
Freath, froth. 
Frciuit, strange, estranged. 
Frien\ friend. 
Fu\ full. 
Fv'd, the scut or tail of the hare, 

rabbit, &c. 
Fuff, to blow in puffs. 
Fttft, blew. 

Funnie, amusing, full of merri- 
Fur, a furrow. 
Fur-ahin\ the hindmost horse on 

the right hand when ploughing. 
Furm, a form or bench. 
Fyke, trifling cares ; to make a 

fuss about trifles, to fret ; to 

shrug, to wince. 
Fi/lc, to soil, to dirty. 
FyVt, soiled. 


Gab, the mouth ; to speak boldly 
or pertly. 

Gaher-lujizie, a beggar man, one 
who carries a wallet. 

Gadsman, a ploughboy. 

Gae, to go ; gaed, went ; gaen or 
gane, gone ; gaun, going. 

Gaet, or gate, way, manner, road. 

Gang, to go, to walk. 

Gangrel, a vagrant. 

Gar, to force to, to compel. 

Gar't, forced to. 

Garten, a garter. 

Gash, shrewd, talkative ; to con- 

GashirC, conversing. 

Gaucy, jolly, large. 

Gaunted, yawned. 

Gawkf/, half-witted, foolish, romp- 


Gaylies, pretty well. 

Gear, riches, goods of any kind. 

Geek, to toss the head in scorn or 

wantonness, to mock, to sport. 
Ged, a pike. 
Gentles, great folks, 
Gcordie, a guinea. 
Get, a child, a young one. 
Ghaist, a ghost. 
Gie, to give ; gied, gave ; gicn, 

Gif, if. 

Giftie, diminutive of gift. 
Giglets, giggling girls. 
Gillie, diminutive of gill. 
Gilpie, a half-grown boy or girl, a 

i-omping lad, a hoyden. 
Gimmer, a ewe from one to two 

years old. 
Gin, if, against. 
Gipsey, a young girl. 
Girn, to grin, to twist the features 

in rage or pain. 
Girning, grinning. 
Gizz, a periwig ; a shaggy head of 

Glaikit, heedless, foolish. 
Glaive, a sword. 

Glaizie, glittering, smooth as glass. 
Glamour, necromancy. 
Glaimi'd, aimed, snatched at. 
Gleck, sharp, ready.* 
Gled, a kite. 
Gleg, sharp, ready. 
Gleib, glebe. 
Glen, dale, deep valley. 
Gley, a squint, to squint. 
Glibe-gabbet, ready-tougued, 

Glint, to peep. 
Glinted, peeped. 
Glintin', peeping. 
Gloamin, the twilight. 
Glov;r, to stare, a stare. 
Glowred, stared. 
Gluneh, to frown, to look sulky. 
Goavan, moving stupidly. 
Gowan, a daisy. 
Gowany, gowany glens, daisied 

Gowd, gold. 

* Gluck, so given in Blaikie, but not found in Jamieion 



Gowdspuik, the goldfinch. 1 

Goicff, the game of golf ; to strike 
as the bat does the ball at golf. 
Goivfd, struck. 

Gowk, a cuckoo ; a term of con- 
Gowl, to howl. 
Grain'' d, groaned. 
Graining, groaning. 
Graip, a dung-fork. 
Graith, accoutrements, furniture, 

dress, gear, implements. 
Grane, or grain, a groan, to groan, 

to long for. 
Gratuiie, grandmother. 
Grape, to grope. 
Grapit, groped. 
Grat, wept. 

Great, to be great with any one, 

means to be intimate, familiar. 

Gree, to agree ; to bear the gree, to 

be decidedly victor. 
Gree't, agreed. 
Greet, to weep. 
Greetin\ weeping. 
Grippet, catched, seized. 
Groat, to get the whistle of one's 

groat, to play a losing game. 
Groitsome, loathsomely grim. 
Grozet, a gooseberry. 
Grumph, a grunt, to gi'unt. 
Grumpliie, a swine. 
Grun\ ground. 
Grunstane, a grindstone. 
Gruntle, the phiz, a grunting noise. 
Grunzie, the mouth. 
Grushie, thick, of thriving growth. 
Grutten, wept. 

Gude, good; the Supreme Being. 
Guffaw, loud burst of laughter. 
Guid, good. 

G'liic^e'eJi, good evening. 
Guidfather, guidmither, father-in- 
law, mother-in-law. 
Guidman and guidwife, the master 
and mistress of the house ; 
yoimg guidman, a man newJy 
Guid-^iornirC , good morrow. 
Gully, or gullie, a large knife ; 

gleg gullie, a sharp knife. 
Gvlravage, confusion. 
Gumliey muddy. 
Gumption, shrewd sense. 

Gusty, tasteful, appetising. 
Gutcher, grandsire. 
Gutty, bigbellied, gross. 
Gyre-carline, hag. 


na\ hall. 

Hd' Bible, the large Bible that hes 

in the hall. 
Hae, to have. 
Haen, had. 
Haet, thing ; fient haet, a petty 

oath of negation. 
Haff'et, the temple, the side of the 

Hafflins, nearly half, partly. 
Hagg, a scar or gulf in mosses and 

Haggis, a kind of pudding, made 

of pluck, suet, onions, &c., and 

boiled in the stomach of a sheep. 
Hain, to spare, save, economise. 
HairCd, spared. 
Hairst, harvest. 
Haith, a petty oath. 
HaV, or hald, a hold, a dwelling. 
Hale, whole, tiglit, healthy. 
Hallan, a particular partition wall 

in a cottage, or, more properly, 

a seat of turf at the outside ; a 

Hallan-shaher, a sturdy, beggarly 

HallioHS, rogues. 
Hallowmas, Hallow-eve, the 31st 

Haly, holy. 
Hame, home. 

Hamely, homely, frank, afiable. 
Han\ or haitn, hand. 
Hantle, a good many. 
Hap, an outer garment, a mantle 

or plaid ; to wrap, to cover. 
Happer, hopper of a mill. 
Happing, hopping. 
Hap-step-ari-leap, hop-step-and- 

Hark it, hearkened. 
Ham, very coarse linen. 
Hash, a rough, clumsy fellow. 
Hastit, hastened. 
Maud, to hold. 



Haughs, rich level meadows by a 
river side. 

Haurl, to drag, to peel. 

Haiirlin', i^eeling, dragging. 

Ilaver-nheal, oatmeal. 

Havers, nonsense, thoughtless 

Ilavrcl, half-witted. 

Havins, good manners, propriety, 
good sense. 

Hawkie, a cow, properly one with 
a white face. 

Healsome, wholesome, healthful. 

Heapit, heaped. 

Hearse, hoarse. 

Heart, hear it. 

Heather, heath. 

Hech! oh ! strange ! 

Hecht, foretold, offered, promised ; 
hechlin, aiming at. 

Heckle, a card on which flax and 
hemp are dressed ; one of the 
sharp steel spikes of such a card. 

Heels-o' er-gowdie, heels over head. 

Hein-skinned, having large pro- 
jecting shin bones. 

Heize, to raise, to lift up. 

Hellim, a helm. 

Herd, one who tends flocks. 

Hern, the heron. 

Herrin, a herring. 

Hemj, to plunder, to rob a bird's 

Hcrryment, plundering, devasta- 

Het, hot. 

Heugh, a crag, a ravine, a coal-pit. 

Hie, high. 

Hilch, to hobble, to limp. 

HUchin\ limping. 

Hiney, honey. 

Hing, to hang. 

Hirple, to walk crazily. 

Hirsel, a herd of sheep or cattle. 

Histie, dry, chapped, barren. 

Hitch, a loop, a knot. 

Hizzy, a hussie, a young girl. 

Hoddin, jogging, the motion of a 
countryman jogging along on a 
cart-horse ; humble. 
Hoddin-gray, coarse gray woollen 

Hoggie, a two-year-old sheep. 

Hog-score, a kind of distance line 

in curling, drawn across the 

Hog-shouther, a kind of horse-play 
by jostling with the shoulder ; 
to jostle. 

Hoodock, miserly. 

Hool, outer-skin or case, a nut- 
shell, j)ease-s',vade. 

Hoolie, slowly, leisurely, cauti- 

Hoolie, take time, softlj', stop. 

Hoard, a hoard, to hoard. 

Hoordit, hoarded. 

Horn, a spoon made of horn. 

Hornie, a name for the Devil. 

Host, or hoast, to cough. 

Hostin\ coughing. 

Hotch, to jerk, to move the body 
by jerks. 

HotclCd, turned topsy-turvy, 

Ho ugh magandie, fornication. 

Housie, diminutive of house. 

Hove, to heave, to swell. 

Hov d, swelled. 

Howdie, a midwife. 

Howe, hollow ; a hollow or dell. 

Howehackit, sunk in the back, 
spoken of a horse, &c. 

Hov}ff, a place of resort, an ale- 

Howk, to dig. 

Howkin\ digging. 

Howk it, digged. 

Hovjlet, an owl. 

Hoy, to urge on. 

Hoy't, urged. 

Hoyse, to pull upwards. 

Hoyte, to amble stiflly. 

Hughoc, diminutive of Hugh. 

Hunkers, the hams. 

Hurclieon, a hedgehog. 

Hurdies, the loins, the crupper, 
the hips. 

Hushion, cushion. 

Hyte, mad, in a fury. 


/', in. 

Icker, an ear of corn. 
ler-oe, a great grandchild. 
Uk, or ilka, each, every. 



Ill-thief, the devil. 

Ill-wiiUe, ill-uaturetl, malicious, 

Ingine, geuius, ingenuity. 
Ingle, lire, fireplace. 
Fse, I shall or will. 
Ither, other, one another. 

Jad, jade ; also a familiar term 
among country folks for a giddy 
young girl. 

Jauk, to dally, to trifle. 

JauJcin\ trifling. 

Jauner, prattle. 

Jaup, a jerk of water; to jerk or 
plash as agitated water, to splash. 

Ja^v, coarse raillery ; to pour out, 
to jerk as water, to dash. 

Jaio-hole, sink. 

Jillet, a jilt, a giddy girl. 

Jimp, slender in the waist, hand- 
some ; to jump. 

Jimphj, barely, scarcely. 

Jing, hy jing, a petty oath. 

Jink, to dodge, to turn a corner, 
a sudden turning a corner. 

Jinker, that turns quickly, that 

Jinkin\ dodging, furtive, 
gives the slip ; a gay, sprightly 
girl, a wag. 

Jirt, a jerk. 

Jockteleg, a kind of knife. 

Joes, sweethearts. 

Jougs, the pillory. 

Jouk, to stoop, to bow the head, 
to skulk. 

Joiv, to jow, a verb which ex- 
presses both the swinging 
motion and pealing sound of a 
large bell. 

Jowkery-pawkei'i/, sly juggling talk 
or tricks. 

Jundie, to jostle. 


Kae, a jackdaw. 
KaAl, colewort, broth. 
Kail-runt, the .stem of colewort. 
Kain, fowls, &c., paid as rent by a 

Kehan, rafters. 

Kehhuck, a cheese. 

Keek, a peep, to peep ; keekit hen, 

looked in. 
Keel, red chalk. 
Kelpies, a sort of mischievous 

goblins, said to haunt fords and 

ferries at night, especially in 

Ken, to kn6w ; ken'd, or ken''t, 

Kennin, a small matter. 
Kenspeckle, well-known, peculiar, 

a gazing-stock. 
Kep, to receive, to catch. 
Ket, matted, hairy ; a fleece of 

Kiaugh, carkiug anxiety. 
Kilt, to truss up the clothes ; the 

Kimiuer, or cummer, a young girl, 

a gossip. 
Kin, kindred. 
Kin\ kind (adjective). 
Kingshood, a certain part of the 

entrails of an ox. 
Kintra, country. 
Kintra-cooser, a country stallion. 
Kirn, a churn ; the harvest home. 
Kirsen, to christen. 
Kist, chest, trunk, coffin. 
Kitchen, anything eaten with 

bread, or other fare, to give it a 

relish. 'Hunger is gude kit- 
chen,' hunger is good sauce. 
Kith, kindred. 
Kitlin, a kitten. 
Kittle, to tickle ; skittish, ticklish, 

Knaggie, like knags or nobs, bony. 
Knappin' -hammer, a hammer for 

breaking stones. 
Knotve, a knoll. 
Knurl, or knurlin', a dwarf. 
Kuittle, to cuddle. 
Kuittlin\ cuddling. 
Kjje, cows. 

Kyle, a district in Ayrshire. 
Kijte, the belly. 
Kjthe, to come to light, to show 

one's self. 

Laddie, diminutive uf lad, a b jy. 



Lade, a load. 

Laggan, the angle between the 
side and bottom of a wooden 

Laigh, low. 

Lair, or lear, learning. 

Lairing, wading, and sinking in 
snow or mire. 

Laith, loath. 

Laithfu', bashful, 

Laive, or lave, the rest, the 

Lallans, Scottish dialect. Low- 

Lamhie, diminutive of lamb. 

Lammas-moon, harvest moon. 

Lampit, a limp&t, a kind of shell- 

Laii", land, estate. 

Lan'-afore, foremost horse in the 

Lan^-aJiin\ the hindmost horse in 
the plough. 

Lane, lone ; my lane, thy lane, &c., 
myself alone. 

Lanehj, lonely. 

Lang, long ; to think lang, to long, 
to weary. 

Langsyne, long since. 

Lap, leaped. 

Lave, or laive, the rest, the re- 
mainder, the others, other 

Laverock, the lark. 

Lawin, shot, reckoning, bill. 

Lawlan\ Lowland. 

Lays, or leys, fields. 

Leal, loyal, faithful, true. 

Lear, or lair, learning. 

Lea-rig, grassy ridge. 

Lea'e, to leave. 

Lee-lang, livelong. 

Leesome, pleasant ; leesome lane, 
dear self alone. 

Leeze-me, a phrase of congratu- 
latory endearment ; I am happy 
in thee, or proud of thee, bless- 
ings on thee. 

Leister, a three-pronged fish-spear. 

Leugh, laughed. 

Leuk, a look, to look. 

Libbet, emasculated. 

Licks, a beating. 

Lift, the sky. 

LigJitly, sneering, to sneer at, to 

I^ilt, a ballad, a tune, to sing. 

Limmer, a kept mistress, a strum- 

Llinp't, limped, hobbled. 

lAnk, to trip along. 

LinkifC, tripping. 

Linn, a waterfall, a cascade. 

Lint, flax ; lint € the bell, flax in 

Lintwhite, a linnet. 

Ijippen, to trust. 

Loan, or loanin, a lane ; the place 
of milking. 

Loaf, the i>alm of the hand. 

Jjoopy, cvafty. 

Loot, did let or permit. 

Looves, plural of loof 

Loun, or loon, a fellow, a raga- 
muffin, a woman of loose charac- 

Loup, jump, leap. 

Lowe, a flame. 

Lovnn\ flaming. 

Loivric, abbreviation of Lawrence. 

Loxvse, to loose. 

Loiosed, loosed. 

Lug, the ear, a handle. 

Lugget, having a handle ; lugget 
caup, eared cup. 

Jjuggie, a small wooden dish with 
a handle. 

Lum, the chimney. 

Lunch, a large piece of cheese, 
meat, &c. 

Lunt, a column of smoke ; to 

Luntin', smoking. 

Lyart, of a mixed colour, gray. 


Mae, more. 
Mahoun, Satan. 
Mailen, farm. 
Mair, more. 
Maist, most, almost. 
Maistly, mostly. 
Mak, to make. 
Makin\ making. 
Malison, curse. 
Mallie, Molly or Mary. 



Mang, among. 

Manse, a parsonage house. 

Manteele, a mantle. 

Mark, or merk, marks ; a deno- 
mination of ancient Scottish 
money. (This and several other 
words, which in English require 
an s to form the plural, are in 
Scotch the same in both num- 
bers, hke the words, sheep, deer.) 

Marrow, match, mate, one of a pair. 

Mar's year, the year 1715, when 
the "Earl of Mar was in arms 
for the Pi'etender. 

Mashlum, meslin, mixed corn. 

Mask, to mash, as malt, &c. ; to 

Maskin'-pat, teapot. 

Maukin, a hare. 

Maun, must ; maxmna, must not. 

Maut, malt. 

Mavis, the thrush. 

Maio, to mow. 

MawirC, mowing. 

Meere, mare. 

Meikle, or muckle, much. 

Melancholiovs, mournful. 

Melder, quantity of grain sent to 
the mill to be ground. 

Mell, a mallet ; also to meddle, to 
be intimate. 

Melvie, to soil with meal. 

Men', to mend. 

Mense, good manners, decorum. 

Menseless, ill-bred, rude, impudent. 

Mercies, provisions, entertainment. 

Merle, the blackbird. 

Messan, a small dog. 

Middin, dunghill. 

Middin-hole, dunghill, gutter. 

Midge, a gnat. 

Mim, prim. 

Mivb, mind. 

Mind't, mind it, resolved, amind. 

Minnie, mother, dam. 

Mirk, mirkest, dark, darkest. 

Misca\ to abuse, to call names. 

Misca'd, abused. 

Mishanter, misfortune. 

Misleat'd, mischievous, imman- 
nerly ; to be put out of one's 

Mislippen, neglect. 

Misteuk, mistook. 

Mistryst, to disappoint by break- 
ing an appointment, to deceive. 

Mither, mother. 

Mixtie-maxtie, confusedly mixed. 

Moistify, to moisten. 

Mony, or monie, many. 

Moots, or movls, earth, mould, the 
grave, the dust. 

Moop, to nibble as a sheep, to 

Moorlan' ,oi ox belonging to moors. 

Morn, to-morrow. 

Moss-hags, pits and sloughs in a 
mire or bog. 

Mostie, dustie. 

Mou, the mouth. 

Moudiwort, a mole. 

Mauls, or mools, earth, the grave. 

Mousie, diminutive of mouse. 

Muckle, or meikle, much, big, great. 

Musie, diminutive of muse. 

Muslin-kail, broth composed sim- 
ply of water, shelled barley, and 

Mutch, a woman's cap. 

Mutchkin, an English pint. 

MyseV, myself. 


Na, no, not, nor. 

Nae, no, not any, 

Naething, or naithing, nothing. 

Naig, a horse. 

Nane, none. 

Nappy, ale ; to be tipsy. 

Negleckit, neglected. 

Neibour, a neighbour. 

jVeist, next. 

Neuk, nook. 

New-fangled, new-fashioned, en- 
grossed with some novelty. 

Nick, a cut. 

Nickin\ cutting. 

Nieve, the fist. 

Nievefu', handful. 

Niffcr, an exchange ; to exchange, 
to barter. 

Nigger, a negro. 

Nine-tailed-cat, a hangman's whip. 

Nit, a nut. 

Norlan\ of or belonging to the 



NoticH noticed. 
Nowte, black cattle. 


0\ of. 

Ochils, hills in Pertlisliii'O. 

Oe, or o>/c, a grainlcliild. 

haitk ! tiiith ! 

Ony, or onie, any. 

Or, is often used for ere. 

Orra, odd, not matclied, that may 

be spared. 
% of it. 

Oughtlins, at all, in any degi'ce. 
Ourie, shivering, drooping. 
OurseV, or oursels, ourselves. 
Outcast, a quarrel. 
Outlers, cattle not housed. 
Ower, over, too, too much. 
Owre-hip, a way of fetching a blow 

with the hammer over the arm. 
Oioseii, oxen. 

Pack, intimate, familiar ; twelve 
stone of wool. 

Paidle, to plash among water ; 
also short and irregular steps, 
like those of children. 

Paiks, blows. 

Painch, paunch. 

Pairtrick, ov padtrick, a partridge. 

Pang, to cram. 

Parle, speech. 

Parritch, oatmeal pudding, a well- 
known Scotch dish. 

Pat, put ; a pot. 

Pattlc, or pettle, a plough-staff. 

Paiighty, proud, haughty. 

Pauky, or paivkie, cunning, sly. 

Pay't, paid, beaten. 

Peck, to fetch the breath short as 
in an asthma. 

PecJian, the crop, the stomach. 

Peelin', peeling. 

Penny-fee, wages. 

Pet, a domesticated sheep, &c. 

Pettle, to cherish : a plough-staff. 

Philaheg, the Highland kilt. 

PhraisCy fair speeches, flattery ; to 

PhraisirC, flattery, cajoling. 

Pibroch, a Highland war -song, 
adapted to the bag[)ipe. 

Pickle, a small quantity of any- 

Pig, an earthen pot, or pitcher. 

Pine, pain, uneasiness. 

Pint-stoup, a two-quart measure. 

Pirn, bobbin. 

Pit, to put. 

Placad, a public proclamation ; a 
cheer ; to publish. 

Plack, a doit, an old Scotch coin, 
two bodies, or the third of a 
penny English. 

Plackless, penniless. 

Platie, diminutive of plate. 

Plenishing, furniture. 

Plew, ov pletigh, a plough. 

Pliskie, a trick. 

Poind, to seize on cattle or take 
the goods, as the laws of Scot- 
land allow for rent. 

Poortith, poverty. 

Posie, a nosegay. 

Pou\ to pull. 

Pouk, to twitch, to pluck. 

Poussie, a hare or cat. 

Pout, a poult, a chick. 

Pou't, pulled. 

Poutherij, powdery. 

P outlier, 01' poivther, powder. 

Pow, the head, the skull. 

Pownie, a pony. 

Preen, a p)in. 

Prent, print. 

Prie, or pree, to taste. 

Prie'd, tasted. 

Prief, proof. 

Prig, to cheapen, to entreat. 

Priggin\ cheapening. 

Primsie, demure, precise. 

Propine, a present, a gift. 

Propone, to lay down, to propose. 

Provoses, provosts, mayors. 

Puir, poor. 

Puncl, pound, pounds. 

Pyle, a pyle o' cajf, a single grain 
of chatf. 


Qucdch, a small wooden drinking 



Quak, to quake. 
Quarters, lodgings. 
Qiiat, to quit. 
Quean, a wench. 

Quey, a cow from one to two years 


Ragweed, the herb ragwort. 
Raible, to rattle nonsense. 
Rair, to roar. 
Raize, to madden, to inflame, to 

Ramfeezled, fatigued, overspent. 
Ram-starii, heedless, thoughtless, 

Raploch, a coarse cloth ; coarse. 
Rarely, excellently, very well. 
PmsIi, a rush ; rask husk, a bush 

of rushes. 
Ration, a rat. 
Raucle, rash, stout, fearless ; 

raucle carline, stout beldam. 
Rang lit, reached. 
Rave, tore. 

Ravelled, entangled, confused. 
Raw, a row. 

Rax, to reach, to stretch. 
Raxin\ stretching. 
Ream, cream ; to cream. 
Reaming brimful, frothing. 
Reave, to rove, to rob. 
Reaving, open violent thieving. 
Reck, to heed. 
Red, or rede, a warning, counsel, 

to counsel, to warn ; also to 

separate, to put to rights ; Fni 

red, I am informed. 
Red-wat-shod, walking in blood 

over the shoe-tops. 
Red-vmd, stark mad. 
Rec, half diimk, fuddled. 
Reek, smoke. 
Reekin\ smoking. 
Reekit, smoked, smoky. 
Reft, broken. 
Reisted, stojiped, stuck fast ; also 

Remead, remedy. 
ReqvAte, requited. 
Rest, or rcist, to stand restive., stood restive ; stunted, 


Restricked, restricted. 

Rickles, shocks of corn. 

Rief, reef, plenty ; robbery. 

Rief-randies, sturdy beggars. 

Rig, a ridge. 

Riggin\ a roof. 

Rigwoodie-hag, old hag deserving 

the gallows. 
Rin, to run, to melt; rinnin', 

Rink, the course of the stones, a 

term in the game of curling. 
Rip, a handful of unthrashed corn. 
Ripling-kame, an instrument for 

dressing flax. 
Riskit, made a noise hke the tear- 
ing of roots. 
Rive, to tear, to burst. 
Rocki)i\ spinning on the rock or 

Rood, stands likewise for the 

plural roods. 
Roon, a shred, a paring. 
Roose, to praise, to commend. 
Roun\ round, in the circle of 

Roupit, or roopit, hoarse with a 

Routh, plenty. 
Roa,thie, plentiful. 
Row, to roll, to wrap. 
Rowan-tree, mountain ash. 
Roxv't, rolled, wrapped. 
Rov)te, to low, to bellow. 
Rowth, or routh, plenty ; routh o' 

gear, plenty of goods. 
RovAin\ lowing. 
Rozet, rosin. 
Rue, or rew, to repent. 
Rug, pull ; a dog-cheap bargain. 
Rung, a cudgel. 
Runklcd, wrinkled. 
Runt, the stem of colewort or 

Ruth, sorrow. 
Rjjke, reach. 


Sacklcss, innocent. 
Sac, so. 
Saft, soft. 

Sain, to bless against evil influ- 



Sair, sore, a sore ; to serve. 

Sairb/, or sairlie, sorely, 

(Sairt, served. 

Sark, a shirt. 

Sarkit, provided in shirts. 

Smigh, a willow. 

Sard, soul. 

Saumont, salmon. 

Saunt, a saiut. 

^aut, salt. 

Saw, to sow. 

Sawin\ sowing. 

Sax, six. 

Scaith, injur}' ; to damage, to 

Scaitldess, unharmed. 

Scar, to scar, a scare. 

Scaud, to scald. 

Scauld, to scold. 

Scaur, apt to be scared ; a pre- 
cipitous bank of earth over- 
hanging a river. 

Scau'l, a scold. 

Scone, a kind of bread, limp barley 

Scratch, to scream as a hen, part- 
ridge, &c. 

Screed, to tear, a rent; a long 

Scrieve, to glide swiftly along. 

Scrievin\ gleesomely, swiftly. 

Scrimp, to scant. 

Scrimpet, did scant, scanty. 

Scroggie, covered with underwood. 

Scud, to run. 

Sculdiiddery, loose, obscene. 

Scunner, disgust. 

See'd, saw. 

Seizin\ seizing. 

Sel', self ; a body's seV, one's self 

Scirt, did se]l. 

Sen\ to send. 

Sen't, I, he, or she sent ; send it. 

Servan\ servant. 

Sets, sends for ; sets of, goes away. 

Settlin\ settling ; to get a settlin\ to 
be frighted into quietness. 

ShachVt, distorted, out of shape. 

Shaird, a shred, a shard. 

Shangan, a stick cleft at one end, 
and put on the tail of a dog, 
&c., for mischief, or to frighten 
him away. 

Shanks, legs. 

Shangling, shamliling. 

Shaver, a humorous wag, a barber. 

Shavie, an ill turn played to one. 

Shaw, to show; a small wood in a 

Shearers, reapers. 

Sheen, bright, shining. 

Sheep-shank, to think one^sself nae 
sheep-shank, to be conceited. 

Sherra-moor, Sheriifmoor, where 
a battle was fought in the re- 
bellion of 1715. 

Sheitgh, a ditch or trench, a sluice, 
a channel. 

Shiel, a shed. 

Shill, shrill. 

Shilpit, weak, washy, insipid. 

Shog, a shock, a push off at one 
side, a shake ; to shake. 

Shoal, a shovel. 

Shoon, shoes. 

Sho?-e, to offer, to threaten. 

Shored, offered. 

Shouther, shoulder. 

Sihh, related by blood. 

Sic, such. 

Sicker, sure, steady. 

Sidelins, sidelong, slanting. 

Silken-snood, a fillet of silk, for- 
merly worn as a token of vir- 

Siller, silver, money. 

Simmer, summer. 

Sin, a son. 

Sin\ since. 

Skaith, see scaith. 

Skance, a sight of. 

Skeigh, coy. 

Skcllum, a worthless fellow. 

Skelp, to strike, to slap, a smart 
stroke ; to walk with a smart 
tripping pace. 

Skelpin\ walking ; also slapping 
with the palm of the hand. 

Skeps, bee-hives. 

Skelpy-limmer, a technical term in 
female scolding. 

Skiegh, or skeigh, proud, nice, 

Skinking ware, thin stuff. 

Skinklin, a small portion. 

Skirl, to shriek, to cry shrilly. 

Skirlin\ shrieking, crying. 



SkirVt, shrieked. 

Sklent, slant, to run aslant, to 

de\'iate frona truth, to deceive. 
Sklented, ran, or hit, in an oblique 

direction, glanced. ■ 
Skouth, vent, scope, free action. 
Skreigh, a scream, to scream. 
Skyrin, shining, bright coloured. 
Ski/tc, to slide rapidly o2"; a 

worthless fellow. 
Slade, did slide. 
Slae, the sloe. 

Slap, a gate, a breach in a fence. 
Slaw, slow. 

She, sly ; sleest, slyest, 
Sleekit, sleek, sly. 
Sliddery, slippery. 
Sloken, quench, slake. 
Slype, to fall over as a wet furr w 

from the plough. 
Sly pit, fell over. 
Sma\ small, 
Smeddvjn, dust, powder; mettle, 

Smeek, smoke, fumes, 
Smiddy, a smithy. 
Smoor, to smother, 
Smoor'd, smothered. 
Smoutie, smutty, obscene, ugly. 
Smytrie, a numerous collection of 

small individuals. 
Snapper, stumble. 
Snasli, abuse, Billingsgate, 
Snaw, snow, to snow. 
Snaw-broo, melted snow. 
Snaicie, snowy. 
Sneck, latch of a door. 
Sneck-dr awing, trick-contriving. 
Sned, to lop away, to cut off". 
Sneeshin, snuft'. 
SneesJiin-mill, snuff-box. 
Snell, bitter, biting, keen. 
Snick, same as sneck. 
Snirtlc, to titter, to laugh. 
Snod, neat. 
Snood, virgin fillet. 
Snool, to submit tamely, to sneak ; 

one whose spirit is broken by 

oppression ; to snub, 
Snoove, to go smoothly and con- 
stantly, to suoak ; snoove a'wa\ 

push on. 
Snowk, to scent or snuff, as a dog, 


Siioivkit, scented, snuffed. 

Sonsie, having sweet, engaging 
looks, lucky, jolly, fat, 

Soom, to swim. 

Sooth, truth, a petty oath. 

Sorners, sturdy beggars, obtrusive 

Sot, a fool. 

Sovgh, the noise of the wind, a 
sigh, a sound dying on the ear ; 
also a rumour, 

Souple, flexible, swift. 

Souter, a shoemaker. 

Sou'ens, a dish made of oatmeal, 
the seeds of oatmeal soured, &c., 
and boiled up till they make an 
agreeable pudding. 

Sowp, a spoonful, a small quantity 
of anything liquid. 

Sowth, to try over a tune with a 
low whistle. 

Sowther, solder ; to solder, to ce- 

Spa.e, to prophesy, to divine. 

S pails, chips. 

Spairge, to dash, to soil as with 
mire, to asperse. 

Spaie, or spcat, a swell in a river, 
an inundation, a sweeping tor- 
rent after rain cu* thaw. 

Spaul, a limb, the shoulder-blade, 

Spaviet, having the spavin, 

Spean, to wean. 

Speat, or spate, an inundation, 

Speel, to climb, 

Spence, the parlour. 

Spier, to ask, to inquire. 

Spier't, asked. 

Splatter, to splutter. 

Spleuchan, a tobacco-pouch. 

Splore, a frolic, noise, disturbance. 

Sporran, a purse. 

Sprachled, scrambled. 

Sprattle, to scramble. 

Spreckled, spotted, speckled. 

Spree, a convivial indulgence, a 
frolic, a lark. 

Spring, a quick air in music, a 
Scotch reel. 

Sprit, a tough-rooted plant, some- 
thing like rushes. 

Sprittie, full of such plants. 

Spunk, fire, a match, a spark ; 
mettle, wit. 



Spunhie, mettlesome, brisk, fiery ; 
Will o' Wisp, or ignis fatuus. 

Spurtle, a stick used in making 
oatmeal pudding or porridge. 

l:<(piad, a crew, a party. 

Squatter, to flutter iu water, as a 
wild duck, &c. 

Squattle, to sprawl. 

iSqueel, a scream, a screech ; to 

Stacker, to stagger. 

Stack, a rick of com or hay. 

Staggie, diminutive of stag. 

Staig, a young horse not broken in. 

Stalwart, strong, stout. 

Stance, standing-place. 

Stane, a stone. 

Stavg, a pole, a branch of a tree. 

Stank, did stink ; a pool of stand- 
ing water. 

Slant, to stand ; stanH, did stand. 

Stap, stop. 

Stark, stout. 

Startle, to run, as cattle stung by 
the gadfly. 

Staumrel, a blockhead ; half- 

Staio, stole ; to surfeit. 

Stech, to cram the belly. 

Stechin\ cramming. 

Steek, to shut ; a stitch. 

Steer, to molest, to stii*. 

Steeve, or sticve, firm, compact. 

Stell, a still. 

Sten, to rear like a horse ; to 
bound, to leap. 

Ste^i't, reared. 

Stents, tribute, dues of any kind. 

Sterns, stars. 

■Stei/, steep ; steyest, steepest. 

Stihble, stubble ; stibble-rig, the 
reaper in harvest who takes the 

Stick-an^-stowe, totally, altogether. 

Sticket, stuck, sjioiled. 

Stilt, a crutch ; to halt, to limp. 

Slimpart, the eighth part of a 
Winchester bushel. 

Stirk, a young cow or bullock. 

Stock, a plant or root of colewort, 
cabbage, &c. 

Stoekin\ a stocking ; throioing the 
stockin\ an old marriage cus- 

Stoitin\ staggering. 
Stook, a shock of corn. 
Stooked, made up in shocks. 
Stoor, sounding hollow; strong, 

and hoarse ; austere. 
Slot, an ox. 
Stound, a pang. 
Stoup, or stowp, a kind of jug or 

dish with a handle. 
Stour, stern, grufl". 
Stourc, dust, particularly dust in 

Stow, to cut ofF, to lop. 
Stouiins, by stealth. 
Stown, stolen. 
Stoytc, to stumble. 
Struck, did strike. 
Strae, straw ; to die a fair strae 

death, to die in bed, a natural 

Straik, to stroke. 
Straikit, stroked. 
Strappin, tall and handsome. 
Straught, straight. 
Stravagin\ wandering without an 

Streek, to stretch. 
Stress, hard pressure, straining. 
Striddle, to straddle. 
Stroan, to spout, to piss. 
Studdie, an anvil. 
Stumpie, diminutive of stump. 
Strunt, spirituous liquor of any 

kind ; to walk sturdily, to strut ; 

to tak' the strunt, to take the 

Stuff, corn or pulse of any kind. 
Sturt, trouble ; to molest. 
Sturtin\ frighted. 
Sucker, sugar. 
Sud, should. 
Sugh, the continued rushing noise 

of wind or water. 
Sumph, a soft stupid fellow. 
Sunkets, provisions, delicacies. 
Smikic, a low stool. 
Suthron, Southern, an old name for 

the English. 
Swaird, sward. 
Swall'd, swelled. 
Sioank, stately, jolly. 
Swankie, or sivankcr, a tight strap- 
ping young fellow or girl. 
Swap, an exchange or barter. 



Swarf, swoon. 

Swat, did sweat. 

Swatch, a sample. 

Swats, drink, good ale, wort. 

Sweatin, sweating. 

Sweer, lazy, averse ; dead sweer, 

extremely averse. 
Swinge, to beat, to whip. 
Siviii, a curve ; an eddying blast, 

or pool ; a knot in wood; a whirl ; 

circular motion. 
Swirlie, knaggie, full of knots. 
Swith, get away, quickly. 
Swither, to hesitate in choice ; an 

irresolute wavering in choice ; 

an eerie swither, a dismal hesi- 
Swoor, swore. 
Syhoes, a garden vegetable. 
Synd, rinse. 
Syndings, rinsings. 
Syne, since, ago, then, after that, 

in that case. 
Syver, a drain, a gutter. 

Tack, lease. 

Tackets, hobnails for shoes. 

Tae, a toe ; three-taed, three- 

Taed, a tciad. 

Tairge, target ; to task, to exercise. 

Tait, a small quantity. 

Tak, to take ; takin\ taking. 

To.mtallan, the name of a moun- 

Tangle, a sea-weed. 

Tangs, tongs. 

Tap, the top. 

Tapetless, heedless, foolish, feeble, 

Tappit-hen, a drinking vessel with 
a nob at the top and containing 
a quart. 

Tapsaltecrie, topsy-turvy. 

Tarroiv, to murmur at one's allow- 

TarroxoH, murmured. 

Tarry-hreeks, a sailor. 

Tasse, or tassie, a cup. 

Tauld, or told, told. 


Tauted, or tautie, matted together ; 

spoken of hair or wool. 
Tawie, that allows itself peaceably 

to be handled ; spoken of a horse, 

cow, &c. 
Teat, or tait, a small quantitj'. 
Tedding, spreading after the 

Teen, grief. 
Ten-hours'-hite, a slight feed to the 

horses while in the yoke, in the 

Tent, a field pulpit; heed, caution; 

take heed, observe. 
Tentie, heedful, cautious. 
Tentless, heedless. 
Teugh, tough. 
Thack, thatch ; thack an^ rape, 

clothing, necessaries. 
Thae, these. 

Thairms, small guts, fiddle strings. 
Thankit, thanked. 
Theekit, thatched. 
Thegither, together. 
ThemseV, themselves. 
Thick, intimate, familiar. 
Thieveless, cold, dry, spited ; spoken 

of a person's demeanour. 
Thigger, to rob. 
Thir, these. 
Thirl, to thrill. 
Thirled, thrilled, vibrated. 
Thole, to suffer, to endure, to bear 

Thoive, a thaw, to thaw. 
Thotvless, slack, lazy, feeble. 
Thrang, throng, a crowd ; busy ; 

on good terms. 
Thrapple, throat, windpipe. 
Thrave, twenty-four sheaves of 

Thraiv, to sprain, to twist, to 

contradict, to thwart ; thraivs, 

throes, pangs. 
Thrawin\ twisting, &c. 
Thrawn, sprained, twisted, given 

to contradiction. 
Threap, to maintain by dint of 

Threshin\ thrashing. 
Threttecn, thirteen. 
Thristle, thistle. 
Throagh,to makto throvgh,togoon 

with, to make out, to make good. 



ThroiCihcr, iiell-mell, confusedly. 
Thud, to make a loud iutermittcut- 
Thunimart, pole cat. 
Thumpit, thumped. 
ThyseC, thyself. 
Till X to it. 
Timmer, timber. 
Tine, or tyne, to lose ; tint, lost. 
Tinkler, a tinker. 
Tint the gate, lost the way. 
Tip, a ram. 
Tippence, twoj^ence. 
Tirl, to make a slight noise, knock 

at a door ; to uncover. 
Tlrliii, stripping, uncovering. 
Tither, the other. 
Tittie, a sister. 
Tittle, to whisper. 
Tittlin\ whispering. 
Tocher, marriage portion. 
Tod, a fox. 
Toddle, to totter, like the walk of 

a child. 
Toddlin\ tottering. 
Toom, empty ; toom roose, empty 

Toop, a ram. 

Toun, a hamlet, a farm-house. 
Tout, the blast of a horn 

trumpet ; to blow a horn, &c, 
Tow, a rope. 
Towinond, a twelvemonth. 






Towzled, rumpled, in disorder. 
Toy, a very old fashion of female 

Toyte, to totter like old age. 
Tozie, tipsy, fuddled. 
Transm ogrified, transmigrated, 

Trashtrie, trash. 
Treics, trousers. 
Tnckie, full of tricks. 
Trig, spruce, neat. 
Trimly, excellently. 
Tririle, wheel of a barrow. 
Troko, to exchange. 
Trow, to believe. 
Trowth, truth, a petty oath. 
Trysie, a fair. 
Trysted, appointed ; to tryste, to 

make an appointment. 
Tri/t^ tried. 

Tag, raw hide, of which, in old 
times, plough-traces were fre- 
quently made. 

Tiilzie, a quarrel, a brawl ; to 
quarrel, to fight. 

Twa, two. 

Twa-three, a few. 

'Ticad, it would. 

Twal, twelve ; tival-pcnny-wortli, 
a small quantity, a jienny worth. 
One penny English is 12d. 

Twin, to part, to separate. 

Tyke, a dog of the larger kind, 

Tyne, or tine, to lose. 


Ugsome, disgusting. 
Unchancy, unlucky. 
Unco, strange, uncouth ; very, very 

great, prodigious ; an unco fit, 

a rapid pace. 
Uncos, news, strangers. 
Unkennel, unknown. 
Unsicker, unsure, unsteady. 
Unskaithcd, undamaged, unhurt. 
Umveeting, unwotting, unknow- 

Up-hye, up the way. 
Upcast, reproach. 
Uphauden, supported. 
l'po\ upon. 

Upsettin', assuming, conceited. 
Upsides with, even with. 
Urchin, a hedgehog. 


Vap'rin'', vapouring. 

Vauntie, elated. 

Vera, very. 

Virl, a ring round a column, &c. 


Wa', wall ; vjo's, walls. 

Wabster, a weaver. 

Wad, would ; to bet, a bet, a 

Wadna, would not. 



Wae, woe, sorrowful. 

Waesuch ! waes me ! alas ! 

the pity ! 
Wajf, shabby. 

Waft, the woof in weaving. 
Waif, a straggler. 
Waifu\ waihug. 

Wair, or ware, to lay out, to ex- 
Wale, choice. 
Waled, chose, chosen ; hanclwaled, 

carefully picked. 
Walie, ample, large, jolly ; also an 

interjection of distress. 
Waine, the belly. 
Wamefu', a bellyful. 
Wanckansie, unlucky. 
WanrestfiC, restless. 
Ware, worn. See wair. 
Wark, work. 

Wark-lume, a tool to work with. 
WarV, or warld, the world. 
Warlock, a wizard. 
Warli/, worldly, eager on amassing 

Warran\ a warrant, to warrant. 
Warst, worst. 

Warstled, or warsled, wrestled. 
Wastrie, prodigality, waste. 
Wat, wet ; 1 icat, I wot, I know. 
Water-hroae, brose made of meal 

and water simply, without the 

addition of milk or butter, &c. 
Wattle, a twig, a wand. 
Wauhle, to swing, to reel. 
Waught, a hearty draught of 

Wau,kit, thickened, as fullers do 

Waukrife, not apt to sleep ; ivauk- 

rife winkers, sleejjless eyelids. 
Waur, worse ; to worst, to get the 

better of. 
Waur H, worsted. 
Wean, or weanie, a child. 
Wearie, or weary ; mony a weary 

body, many a different person. 
Weason, wind-pipe. 
Weaving the stockiit, throwing the 

stocking, old marriage custom. 
Wecht, winnowing basket. 
Wee, little ; wee things, little ones ; 

V)ee hit, small matter. 
Weel, well ; weelfare, welfare. 

Weet, rain, wetness. 

Weird, fate, destiny. 

We'se, we shall. 

Wha, who. 

Whaizle, to wheeze. 

Whalpit, whelped. 

Whang, a leathern string or strap ; 

a cut of cheese, bread, &c. ; to 

give the strappado. 
Whare, where ; ly/ia^'e'er, wherever. 
Whase, whose. 
Whatreck, nevertheless. 
Whatt, cut with a knife, whittled. 
Wheep, to fly nimbly, to jerk ; 

penny-toheep, small beer. 
W/iid, the motion of a hare, run- 
ning but not frightened ; a lie. 
Whiddin\ running as a hare or 

Whigmaleeries, whims, fancies, 

Whingiii\ crying, complaining, 

Whins, gorse. 
Whirligigums, useless ornaments ; 

trif] ing appendages. 
Whisht, silence ; to hold one's 

whisht, to be silent. 
Whisk, to sweep, to lash. 
Whiskit, lashed. 
Whisle, a whsitle, to whistle. 
W hitter, a hearty draught of liquor. 
Whittle, a knife. 
Whunstane, a whinstone. 
Whyles, sometimes. 
Wi\ with 
Wick, to strike a stone in an 

obli(|ue direction, a term in 

Wicker, willow (the smaller sort). 
Widdiefu\ deserving the widdie, 

or gallows. 
Widdie, wriggling motion ; strug- 
gle, bustle. 
Wiel, a small whirlpool, an eddy. 
Wife, a diminutive or endearing 

term for wife. 
Wight, active, handsome. 
Williewaught, draught of li(|Uor. 
Willyard, wild, strange, shy. 
Wimple, to meander. 
Wimpl V, meandered. 
Wimplin\ meandering. 
Win, to winnow, to get. 



Win', wind ; win's, winds. 

Win't, winded, as a bottom of 

Winna, will not. 

Winnock, a window. 

Wi)iso7ne, hearty, vaunted, gay, 
engaging in manners or appear- 

Wintle, a staggering motion ; to 
stagger ; to reel. 

Winze, an oath. 

Wiss, to wish. 

Withoutten, without. 

Wizen d, hidebound, dried, shrunk. 

Wonner, a wonder, a contemptuous 

Wons, dwells. 

Woo\ wool. 

Woodie, a rope, more properly one 
made of wfchs or willows ; the 

Wooer-bab, the gaiier knotted 
below the knee with a couple of 

Wonli/, worthy. 

Worset, worsted. 

Wow, an exclamation of pleasure 
or wonder. 

Wrack, to tease, to vex. 

Wraith, a spirit, a ghost ; an &]}- 
parition exactly like a living per- 
son, whose appearance is said to 
forebode the person's approach- 
ing death. 

Wrang, wrong, to wTong. 

Wreath, or wreeth, a drifted heap 
of snow. 

Wud, mad, distracted. 

Wumble, a wimble. 

Wiizzent, withered, dried. 
Wyle, beguile. 
Wyliecoat, a flannel vest. 
Wijte, blame, to blame. 

Yad,, a horse. 

Yald, supple, active. 

Yammer, to complain peevishly. 

Ye; this prouoiui is frequently 

used for thoii. 
Year, is used both for singular 

and plural, years. 
Yearlings, or yealings, born in the 

same year, coevals. 
Yearns, longs much. 
Year7is, eagles. 
Yell, or yeld, barren, that gives no 

Yellow-yeldrin, the yellow ham- 
YerJc, to lash, to jerk. 
Yerkit, jerked, lashed. 
Yestreen, yesternight. 
Yett, a gate, such as is usuallj' at 

the entrance into a farmyard or 

Yenks, itches, 
Yill, ale. 
Yird, earth. 
Yokin' yoking a bout. 
Yont, beyond. 
Yourself yourself. 
Yov:e, an ewe. 
Yov:ie, diminutive of ewe. 
Yule, Christmas. 



This book is DUE on the last date stamped helow 


^K S 1936 

MAY 2 2 193b 

NOV 3 19^6 

NOV ^~ • '^®' 

,Hm 3 1938 

J. 6 k'^'»4. 


14 t9it'' 

1 1000 


^ ^^"T^ 

7 -^ 




OCT I 2 1937 

k:/i.Fv./^ 193(1 ^^^'-^ 
irOV 4 ^ 1938 , JUN 1 9 19a 


. ^jUl^ll945 

Form I^i^5j/(-7,'35 

APR 1 195Q 

■l^OV 1 5 195ftl 

WAR 3 195^7 

NOV I 9 "^^' 
•FB 1 7 1; 



UMiVEKSJ 1 y of CALll^'CJKNlA 




AA 000 366 753